hiking

kid friendly

With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, its an outdoor lovers paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many wilderness trails, and a sure treat awaits anyone hiking the Giant City Nature Trail, home of the Giant City Streets formed 12,000 years ago by huge bluffs of sandstone. Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, just minutes south of Carbondale, the area was named for the unique impressions made by its massive sandstone structures. Eons of geological faulting and folding have molded a landscape like none other, which is now clothed in lush garments of fern, moss, large flowering mints, hundreds of species of wild flowers and 75-plus varieties of towering trees. The natural splendor of Giant City has made it a renowned retreat that attracts more than 1.2 million visitors annually.

Liked the rock formations. Would like to do again in fall when leaves are gone.

We've hiked this trail many times over the years with kids and grandkids and it never gets old. It's a slightly challenging hike with twists and turns and amazing nature effects. Highly recommended!

rock climbing
8 days ago

It was a great hour spent hiking with the wife. Really well done trail and allows people to make the trail as difficult as they would like. I'd definitely do it again!

hiking
24 days ago

A neat little trail. Short enough it doesnt take up but and hour or so. It has many interesting features and a couple of interesting caves that are big enough to go back into.

backpacking
25 days ago

This was a good loop that had a bit of everything you would expect while backpacking. A few downed trees, a couple poorly marked blazes, a trail washout, water crossings, mud, hills, and of course...ticks. All in all I really enjoyed the trail. If you are preparing for longer hike or just wanting to hike for exercise, this is a great trail. If you are wanting beautiful views or an easy stroll, it would be better if you chose a different trail. I would suggest walking clockwise, left, south from the trailhead. It has the best blazing.

backpacking
1 month ago

alltrails has this trail as easy. compared to the rocky mountains or someplace like that, it probably is easy. but for southern Illinois and the conditions of the trail I'm rating it as rugged. lots of brush to bust through and rocky rough trails with alot of up and down hills. plenty of water sources for filtering and a nice campsite about 7.5 miles in. I prefer rough trails but some wider trails and less brush would have been nice. I would recommend this for a fall hike when the leaves change. summer time has too much foliage to be able to see much scenery. all in all, I don't feel like I wasted 14 miles. it was a great workout. I would go back.

on Red Cedar Trail

backpacking
1 month ago

Great backing trip! There was plenty of water, the camping was great, and I would definitely recommend it!