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

hiking
2 days ago

A lovely winter hike! The trail petered out when I got to the beach, but that was as far as I had planned to go, so I didn't explore how hard it would be to find again. The trail was easy to see on the way out, but I did get off-trail for a while by accident on the way back (it wasn't too hard to find again, though). From what the other reviews say about the ticks, I think I'll keep this one on my winter list.

on Tunnel Hill Trail

road biking
5 days ago

Great trail from Harrisburg to the Wetlands Center

hiking
19 days ago

I really really wanted to find the trail after the electric towers, and we did for a bit, but lost it on the downhill and bailed due to the sun going down and battery of cell diminishing. It turns out we weren’t too far off when we bailed. (I was able to check my Apple Watch map to the all trails map ) We hiked in nov with no leaves on the trees and I think that helped keep on the trail for awhile.

Gorgeous trail.

We loved this trail. It’s beautiful and challenging. Climbing down and back out was awesome! One thing I want to note, while dogs are allowed, I do not recommend taking them as they are required to be on a leash. Dogs make getting down into the canyon and back out far more dangerous. We had two small dogs and one large dog and I would not take them on this hike again. Also, as someone else here noted, going counterclockwise makes it easier! All the signage wants you to go clockwise, but we are so glad we went the other way.

Very short hike but awesome rock formations. Great for photo ops.

From what I can see on the map here, it definitely doesn't follow the trail markers. Mainly after Goreville to the Mississippi. Im sure there is a more accurate map somewhere else to be found.

hiking
25 days ago

great trail. beautiful views of the falls from above and down below.

great bike trail

hiking
1 month ago

Fun trail. Just like many trails in southern Illinois, unique views, cool waterfalls and a good trail to enjoy. Hope to camp here one day.

Really good trail! Make sure to walk it against clockwise! Decent into a canyon is a bit difficult and slippery but it is much worse as an accent. Make sure to have good hiking shoes or, like my 12 years old dachshund, bring a friend to cary you down!)) Views are great! Trail is extremely well marked. Outside of 3 places it is more of the easy/moderate easy but those 3 places are difficult.
To bad it is 4 hours away from my house but if I’ll be in the area I’ll make sure to repeat it!

camping
1 month ago

Great place to camp. The primitive shelters had parking, fire pits, a grill, and a Picnic table. The main reason this is such a good spot is it’s proximity to several trails. It’s right in the middle of some very cool places. I definitely plan on returning and would recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail!! It is hard to figure out how to get down to the waterfall. Go LEFT when you are on top of the waterfall. There are rocks that you climb down right after the wooden bridge. There is another spot of rocks to climb down right before the open field that will allow a longer hike. The waterfall was one of the best I’ve seen in Illinois thus far.

This is a really nice loop trail about 3.5 miles in all. The start either way is 'paved' with asphalt and then changes over to dirt/rocks. Very nice overlooks and well maintained.

We started the trail clockwise. It is a easy hike on a stone paved walkway for a little bit then you will see the stairs to go down and squeeze thru the rock formations..then the trail is a dirt path which had a little mud because it had rained the day before. But not too bad at all! Loved to see the huge rock cliffs beside us as we hiked. It’s a easy peaceful hike only saw one other person so not too crowded!

Beautiful trail. Easy hike , enjoyed the colors of fall

Trailer was enjoyable

Got a little off trail following the wrong markers but otherwise good

such cool rock formations on this trail! definitely recommend if you haven't seen it before!

loved the view of the lake if you take the straight bit off the loop and then double back. rock formations were awesome. go in fall when the trees are in color - it's breathtaking!

We went after a rain and it was absolutely beautiful, it did make for slippery hiking conditions and it was a difficult hike through the falls. Definitely need good shoes.

Great trail, may be difficult for small children or the disabled

Such a great trail! Clearly marked and it makes a 3 mile loop. I try to do this trail at least once a year.

Loved it. Hard for us seniors but worthwhile

Beautiful! Recommend taking the outer trail, definitely worth it and fun to explore.

1 month ago

Pretty, difficult to find. Trailhead starts a little bit down the road.

It was a great trail until it wasn’t, we stayed on a trail the whole time but it wasn’t well marked. We ended up at a farm, miles from the trailhead. Needs to be better marked, and recommend turning around after about a 1/2 mile to avoid confusion.

Hard to find. The office at the campground was super rude when we tried to get directions. Definitely didn't feel welcome whatsoever. A waste of time, the overlook wasn't really worth it. Horse poo on the trails that weren't maintained well.

I was nervous about this because I hike with my two labs and some reviews were mixed. First of all, the drive down there is NOT bad. If you go slow, there is no reason why any car wouldn’t be able to make it down there. The hike itself is very nice. There is one spot that is a climb down (and back up). My dogs were hesitant and scared but finally went down. I would think an agile dog would probably hop right down. The waterfall was just a trickle but still very pretty. The trail gets confusing once you’re in the canyon but I’m pretty sure it all takes you to the same place. Giving it 4 stars because there are tons of boulders and tree roots to watch for. I wish I could have looked up a little more than down at my feet .

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