West of Du Quoin and south of Steeleville on the Randolph-Jackson County line is a unique 198-acre area known as Piney Creek Ravine State Natural Area. Purchased in 1972 for its rare plant species and other natural features, it is one of only two locations in the state where short-leaf pines grow naturally. Piney Creek Ravine is dedicated state Nature Preserve within the Illinois State Nature Preserve system.

A hidden gem! And a must hike.

This is a pretty little trail that includes short leaf pine trees, rock formations, waterfalls (when the creek is running), overlooks, and of course Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. There is a spur trail that goes upstream that is worth going down.

It was great for a while, but the latter half is pretty overgrown. Cool rock formations, Creek was dry when I went.

This was a great hike on a beautiful trail. A moderately difficult hike through canyons, across stream fords with lots of ups and downs. Very cool geology hiking though the stone canyon beds and over rocks. One section features ancient native American carvings and paintings. Unfortunately over time others have defaced the cliff walls with their own markings ruining the experience for future visitors. It was fairly dry when I visited so many of the canyon beds were pretty dry. I assume during wet times it could be fairly treacherous. At one point I stepped on some moss covered rocks that was slicker than ice and I almost went down hard on the rock canyon bed, if it weren't for my handy hiking stick enabling me to catch myself.

love this place!

Would like to give 5, but part of the draw is the rock art that is nearly impossible to see, so 4 stars it is... Easy walk for the straight part on the map through mowed grass and a moderately challenging hike. Beautiful views of forest, rock bed streams and sandstone. Trail is marked very well. Had 5 ticks at the end, but not much other bug activity. Saw a few deer, a fawn and many birds. Will be back!

Very pretty trail. You do cross the water a few times so wear good shoes. I took my dog and he enjoyed it as well. Hard to tell what is real Indian rock art and what is more recent graffiti at the rock wall. Watch out for ticks!! The brush is heavy/somewhat unavoidable in a few parts. Found quite a few on my pup when we left.

This is the best hike I have been on yet. I went with my sister and our children, ranging in age 5 to 13. We were all able to enjoy the hike and have a blast doing it. We will definitely be back!

Took my dogs down there a couple weeks ago.. this is my go to spot since it's so close. Trails are always cleared and marked and I usually have the place to myself.

Weather was perfect... rained 2days ago and trail was in perfect condition. lots of wildlife activity on the forest floor. leave no trace... only found a few pieces of rubbish along the way which I removed of course... great hike... love this trail.... #I'llBeBack

Nice trail. Petroglyphs and petrographs are pretty obscure. Camera will bring out details. Much 19th and 20th century graffiti litters the site. Trails are pretty well marked except for one section near the end. Two trails converge. The trail to the left is moss and lichen covered and goes nowhere for around a quarter mile. Stay to the right to reconnect with the main exit trail.

Wish I had more time to explore around. Really neat area. Will def. be returning

I love it here. Be cautious near the edge of the ravine, there have been a lot of fall/deaths. It's best to go when there hasn't been a lot of rain if you plan to go down the ravine to see the hieroglyphs.

My friend and I enjoyed this trail immensely. We found a few slippery spots but that was from the recent rains we've experienced. The rock art was neat and hiking in the creek beds was awesome! I would definitely recommend this trail!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tail is awesome. Starts off deceptively boring (along farmland) for first qtr mile then goes down into ravine.

gave 4 stars cause the best scenery is shortcutting through the ravine to the other trail/creek crossing. so it's not technically part of the trail.

DANGER DO NOT TOO CLOSE TO CLIFFSIDES... Every couple of months our local paper reports a fall and sometimes death from this location.

Great trail. I'd like to come back in the spring to photograph once things are more colorful.

It was a very nice day the Rock trail was lil slick but all an all the famz enjoyed the day out ...

I've hiked this trail three times now. Very beautiful cliffs carved out by the stream and the native rock art is great to look at. I come back to this one every year.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Absolutely beautiful for this area. Got of the trail a bit but doubled back and got to see the wall art again. Lol

Excellent hike! Very enjoyable for the whole family. River, low falls, cliffs, cave markings, trees- very good indeed for SW Illinois.

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