Explore the most popular trail running 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.

I loved the terrain and views. But people are LIVING in these woods. We seriously had a man request that we “pay the troll toll” because we accidentally came upon his home during our short walk. We played it cool and gave him some cashews and he was alright with us passing through but still, wth. Then we encountered a set of campers

Great hike. I went with my husband and two dogs. Definitely wear waterproof hiking shoes with good grip because the creek beds are slippery.

Amazing views. Climbs are up some awesome rock formations, beautiful trees and wildlife.

Make sure to keep your dogs by you at all times!! Some places are very slippery and ur dogs will start sliding. But other than that it was a blast! I want to go back!

We loved this trail! Took us 2 hours, good clip at the start along the wooded and wildflower ridge line. Then definitely took our time to descend into the canyon. The waterfall was beautiful but slippery and muddy in spots so we took our time to find the right footing. Giant rock formations line the riverbed bottom. A lot of rewards on this trail for the effort. It’s very well marked, follow the diamonds.

This is a really beautiful backpacking trail. Emerging from winter, I wanted something short and relaxing rather than lengthy. This trail was perfect! I camped overlooking the lake and we had phenomenal weather. Beware of ticks -- I had one tick on me to remove.

Really cool trail, has it’s challenging spots because of slippery rocks. The trail flooded out in a couple of spots, but it was still easy to get through!

hiking
29 days ago

As previously mentioned in other comments this trail is basically an extended edition of the Rim Rock Trail. You start off from behind the beach house at Pounds lake and walk along to the end of the lake then through a canyon area until you hit in my opinion the best part of the hike which is the stairs up to the rock formations. I wish this part had been longer as the rest of the 3 mile hike is really just a nature walk. The rock formations really made this hike worthwhile for me. So if you are in it only for the rock formations then save yourselves 2 extra miles and do the Rim Rock trail instead. However if you have some extra time to your day the walk along the lake and through the canyon was very pretty, scenic, and an easy stroll. Would not rate this trail as "Hard" by any means.

Best trail that we have hiked in the Shawnee. It was challenging at times and the views were rewarding!

We spent the weekend in the Shawnee and this was one of the most beautiful trails we hiked. Beware that if you are hiking the full loop, you will have to go up and down a crevasse that could has some steep steps and could be wet. We enjoyed the fact that this trail was not just a half paved path through the woods. You were really rewarded by going the extra mile to get into the woods. We started at the left trail head, hiked up to the lookout point, then ventured down into the bottoms. The decent down was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. We got lucky and went after a very wet week, including rain the night before. The forest was alive with trickling water from every direction. The path up and down the bluff follows a small stream that caused no issue. We took our time, taking pictures and a few breaks, and it ended up taking us about 2 hours to complete the trail.

Hiked the trail Wednesday(2days ago) and the weather was perfect, with sunshine and a breeze. The trail was muddy in places in the lowland so you had to pick and choose a path to get around, but not too bad. The trail on the creek bed was not bad at all. It was pretty easy to step around the water. I was pleased to find there was very little litter along the trail. If a few of us that care would pick up after those don’t and use the large trash containers in the parking lot it would look even better. Remember to leave the area a little cleaner than you found it

1 month ago

Best trail I've hiked! It's hard to describe all of the amazing surroundings. We were just going to go to one of the lookouts but I was a little let down because there wasn't much to see. We decided to keep going and I'm so glad we did, some parts of the trail are definitely rugged so be prepared to walk through a few creeks. My 14 year old and 8 year old thought it was so cool, though my 8 year old was tiring out that last half mile! We took our time to take pictures and let the kids play around in the water and it took us a little over 3 hours. A little difficult but worth it!

Great day hike. Wild flowers were in bloom. Some technical aspects to the trail as you descend/climb out of the canyon, but nothing too much. Trail was being enjoyed by all ages.

started in e town, stoped hiking in eddyville. this part of the trail hiked has a lot of forks that are not marked what way to go. trail has been moved around a lot, but they never took down the old blazes. wasted about 10 miles following false trails, lusk creek is the worst part.

Great short hike. Rained on Saturday, hiked on Sunday. Took aground 3 hrs.
Water running in canyons so ware water proof boots. Awesome rock formations, able to see everything because no leave cover or bugs.

Amazing trail. It is difficult, but definitely worth it.

Trail was really great, but it was really hard to find in the beginning. We went in the wrong direction and hit "no trespassing" signs after about half a mile. The trails are also not very well marked. It can also get pretty muddy in places.

hiking
2 months ago

Don't underestimate it. Starts off easy, then gets much more difficult. We picked a good day for this trail, but it would have been a lot harder if it was rainy or icy.

trail running
2 months ago

Great challenge!! It was a little difficult to follow the white diamonds to reach the other side once you got down into the canyon, but other than that it was a wonderful workout and a lovely hike.

Definitely harder than I anticipated!

Was a great hike, this year was the first time I hiked it during winter. Personally I enjoyed this trail better during this time period. The frozen waterfalls off the bluffs, and being able to see more exposed rock face. You just don’t get that when the leaves are on in the warmer months just made it for me. Highly recommend.

I'm hesitant to write a review, as the trail is getting trashed from over-use, but this really was an excellent hike. I took my 5 year old daughter and she loved it. It was the first trail she's hiked without being carried once, and we completed the whole 3 mile loop in 4 hours. (That should give you a good measure of the difficulty). Right now the trail has a lot of icy spots, so I would recommend bringing a walking stick or trekking poles to help with balance on the canyon descent and ascent. Please practice good trail ethics. Pick up after your dog, don't leave trash, don't pee in the middle of the trail and leave your toilet paper marking where you peed, and be mindful of the effect your boots are having on the trail when wet. Leave no trace.

At times as you proceed down the trail in the wet, rocky canyon, it is so steep that it looks impossible. However, the next step and handhold seem to appear at the last moment. I wouldn’t want to do the trail if it was raining.

It was a great trail a little hard because of the ice in the way of where you had to climb. I would definitely take a hiking buddy with me.

The snow and ice were melting making the trail very soggy today but it's a lovely hike.

Revisited a trail we've hiked for 35 years. Be sure to go up, at the fork, when returning to the trail head.

hiking
6 months ago

I wouldn’t say this trail is “hard” maybe moderate. Nonetheless still one of my favorite trails to hike. Be extremely carefully when going through the canyon as it can get very slippery. There are cut out steps but can be hard to see at times. Trail is very well marked and normally pretty easy to find if you head off. There is another waterfall off the trail about a quarter mile from the base of the canyon, but I’ll leave it to you to find it.

Nice trail. Good workout. There are a couple of places where you have to climb down into the canyon through the creek bed. It can be slippery and difficult when the creek is flowing. We went after a couple weeks with no rain which made it less slippery. Must have good footwear for this trail. Beautiful trail, but I understand why it is rated as difficult.

This is definitely one of the hardest trails I have done. My adcice woyld be to make sure you go prepared in comfortable shoes and have water. you will not get much reception there. elevation drops qyickly. pay attention to the white diamonds on the trees that show you the path to go. absolutely beautiful.

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