Buttermilk Hill is a 4 mile out and back trail located near Ava, Illinois that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, horses, and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.0 miles Elevation Gain: 577 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

forest

lake

hiking
bugs
over grown
7 hours ago

Terrible. Once you get to the “Buttermilk Hill” brown sign, the trail is incredibly overgrown with 1-2year old tree growth, grass and poison ivy. I’m no stranger to bugs on hikes, but I encountered more ticks on this hike than any other I’ve ever been on (picked over 50 ticks off of my socks). The creek crossings and some rocky areas are pretty, but don’t make up for the horribly overgrown trail. Unlike the pictures, this trail DOES NOT lead to a pretty view of the lake and or the spillway. Had to turn around at the 1.6 mile mark because the trail was too overgrown with brush to pass. Big waste of time.

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

Unless it’s winter, only do the first half to the fire pit. You will save yourself A LOT of trouble. 5/5 stars to that point. Afterward, the only redeeming quality is the water in sight. The trail is overgrown, there is no “picnic area” at the end like the sign says, and my husband and I pulled 51 ticks off of ourselves! If you do go to the end of the trail, you’ll see a marker directing you back up the hill. Don’t follow it for the buttermilk trial. Go back the way you came to follow the map on this app.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, and we picked a perfect day to explore it. Loved the variety from forest “four-wheeler” path to narrow winding trail, creek crossings, boulder-hopping. It was all good. A fun hike with my grandson, and we saw just two other people while there. Perfect.

hiking
bugs
muddy
Tue May 07 2019

hiking
Tue Dec 11 2018

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.

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

Amidst the thicket of poison ivy. You’ll become personally acquainted with the local natives of ticks chiggers and spiders. Bring a backpack to haul the gallon of pure Deet needed to keep the mosquitos off, also a towel to sop up the sweat from the heat and humidity.. don’t forget the machete needed to trail-blaze a new path, for the forest is thicker than Vietnam. After wading through the stumps and milfoil you can cool off in Kinkaid lake. Then resume the baton death march back to the parking lot..... on the way home stop by the store to pick up a 6 pack to pay off your hiking partner to grope you for embedded seed ticks.. use a scraper cause more than likely there will be a few hundred on ya.... After this hike I through I’m the towel on exploring new trails in the area.. do your self a favor this summer stay on trails you know. Sincerely, The hiking communities newest lime disease patient.

Sat Feb 24 2018

Nice trail. Not well marked, but still easy to follow.

hiking
Sat Nov 18 2017

I wasn’t a big fan of this trail. It was not very well marked and if I didn’t have my gps on I most certainly wouldn’t have found my way back. The ticks were horrible here in the spring, the only trail in southern Illinois I ever had a problem with ticks. If you decide to hike this, be sure to protect yourself from ticks and pay attention to your surroundings to not get lost.

Mon Nov 13 2017

Trail need to be marked better and needs maintenance. Multiple time we questioned if we were still on the trail.

horseback riding
Sat Mar 11 2017

We trail ride this at least a couple times a year.

Sat Apr 09 2016

I did the Buttermilk Hill to Crisenberry Dam out and back. It was April, no ticks (Yay!) I did an overnight on the trail in my hammock. My biggest complaint, (only complaint really) was the fact i was saying to myself, "I think this is the trail" or "where the * is the trail?!" entirely way to often. A few times I would lose it but it follows the contour of the lake so if you hike it and lose it, just make your way to lake and you might find it. I recommend this trail but only if you plan to hike it early spring, before vegitation pops up and covers what trail there is to hide, or late autumn. Get out there! Adventure calls - don't ignore it... thats how you get lazy

backpacking
Tue Jul 15 2014

Backpacked this trail back in May of 2014, the area is beautiful the trail just needs some good tlc. The ticks were the worst that I have ever experienced before, all and all a very nice place and I will be returning.

hiking
Mon Oct 07 2013

Just did a loop from buttermilk hill trailhead and came back on waterfall trail. The trail is not marked or maintained very well. A couple times the trail just disappeared and I had to search lucky another hiker had made a rock pile (carin) and another time it was just guessing. When I switched from one trail to another it was not marked at all so I was left guessing again. All and all it's a nice area just needs some attention.

hiking
Mon Apr 22 2013

This trail doesn't seem to be maintained frequently.....I took my two children ages 12 and 6 for a hike/overnight backpack trip in April 2013. The trail blazes should have be a white diamond with the number 382. After about 100 yards into the trail (we used the buttermilk trailhead) the blazes turned into spray painted white dots on trees located very far apart. Sometimes we had no idea if we were still on the trail. The footpath was not very visible due to leaves and fallen trees. It's a shame this trail don't get more usage.....very beautiful area. Needs to be cleaned up (tornado up-rooted many trees). We made camp and enjoyed an evening filled with a campfire and goodies. The next week a hiker got lost and a search party went out and found him, he was okay, but I believe he was hospitalized. I know from experience how easy "getting lost" can be.....take your compass and tell someone where you will be going if you come to Kincaide Lake Trail.

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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2 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
Sun Apr 14 2019

hiking
Sat Mar 23 2019

hiking
Sun Aug 12 2018

hiking
Sat Oct 07 2017

hiking
Sat Sep 09 2017

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