Explore the most popular trails in Piney Creek Ravine with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

This is one of my favorite trails! The ravine is incredible! One could easily spend the entire day here. The creek can get slick and the trails are muddy. There is some strenuous hiking areas but we loved it. The GPS will not get you there- close though. And no signal! Be sure you have a map. There is only one small brown sign near the ground where the turn off it to the trail head. We had no problems with webs or insects. However, it was already cool weather.

Really enjoyed this trail and all the frogs, deer, mushrooms and creek area. Use a stick to for the spider webs when your walking on the upper part of the trail, it's a little webby. We didn't get cell service (tmobile) so the getting there and out was via a paper map and handwritten directions. The drawings are pretty obscured by settler graffiti and wear, but still really awesome. Will for sure go back in the fall/winter. Bonus, we heard a few other people but didn't see anyone else while there.

Did this one with my niece. Way way too many spider webs

Great little moderate trail.....slippery when wet! Art was a amazon though you do need to carefully look for it surrounded by all graffiti. Worth it nonetheless. Trail head just pops up out of nowhere so be patience with GPS....it’ll get you there!

Enjoyable hike... really nice scenery when we took a hike up the creek. As far as the art, well let’s just say that modern art has taken over.. all in all.. fun trail

We enjoyed this trail a lot. Took our 4 year old and the dog and shortened it by walking to the pictographs and back. Lots to see!

A hidden gem! And a must hike.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

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.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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

Saturday, March 11, 2017

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.

We did this in the fall with a couple of friends. Interesting trail with wall art and river crossings. I think it would be very pretty in spring also and probably better views with not so much foliage. . I would recommend this trail.

Very enjoyable little hike. I recommend early spring for a visit. Views are better without so much foliage, and I bet the poison ivy is pretty annoying once it gets going. Can be difficult to cross some things in high water, and there was a bit of mud to traverse at the beginning.
The location is off, though. The blue dot is actually several miles east of the actual park. I had to look in a 'route' on someone else's post to get to the trail.

Very nice hike. Trail was clean and nice, marked well, and easy to maneuver while carrying the kids in our backpack carriers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This was a beautiful hike with many rocky bluffs and streams. The trail alternated between bluff tops and stream crossings, making for one of the most enjoyable hikes in the state. Moderate difficulty because of a steep climbs and stream crossings. The rock art is really neat once you locate it. It is unfortunately surrounded by many modern additions from less evolved members of our society. The trail head is a long way down Piney Creek Road, just keep going. More than worth the drive! We will be doing this again soon!

Load More