Cache River and Heron Pond State Natural Areas

EASY 26 reviews
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Cache River and Heron Pond State Natural Areas is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Belknap, Illinois that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.0 miles
282 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running



wild flowers



14 days ago

Worth the stop. My wife and I pulled off here to stretch our legs on a long drive and were surprised at how pretty it was. There is a beautiful large bridge at the start and if you stay to the left and go out on the spur trail is the main beauty for me. There is a very large parking lot and We will be back anytime we drive through.

1 month ago

We only hiked to swamp and then on to oak tree and back. About 1.5-2 miles round trip....Beautiful hike!

3 months ago

Great hike into a Cypress swamp, has nice boardwalk into the swamp and past the largest Oak in the state.

7 months ago

The first part of trail follows the muddy Cache River so not so pretty but the sound of water and birds is beautiful. We did see yellow warbler. Hugging the 1200 year old tree was fun. Heron pond was an amazing sight. We did see cottonmouth snakes in the water which was creepy.

8 months ago

Rrrrr! Gerrr!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Really neat place to go and see

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Heron pond was neat to see. there are railings up to walk over it so that you don't step in it. The rest of the trail could be hard to follow since the leafs cover the trail in the fall. we tried following the wildcat bluff signs, but got cut off at the waters and was unsure where to go. for the most part we kind of made our own trail. this trail is full of beautiful trees. lots of spider webs to be cautious about. be careful about the ticks also.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

In this .gpx recording, we came in on the Marshall Ridge Access portion of the park map. We never came upon any boardwalks. I think if/when I go back, I will come in from one of the other access points (Heron Pond Access Point or Wildcat Bluff Access), as those parts seem more interesting.

It was about a 2.5 mile hike out through this forest, and the cypress swamp loop was about .5 miles at most. I think this part of the park is under-used and not maintained well. There is one trail that would have been faster back but it was very overgrown, so we didn't take it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Beautiful trail. Love cache river. Rent kayaks and take the canoe trail:

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Beautiful cypress swamp!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beautiful trail!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Very scenic trail, great for young hikers. Trail is wide and well marked. The boardwalk in to the trees is well worth the hike.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Very beautiful scenery, and the boardwalk was a really nice feature. The hike itself is easy and you can extend your hike by following the signs to the Little black slough.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I love coming to Heron pond. It's right down the road!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Very nice easy trail Heron pond was beautiful

Friday, October 25, 2013

Great trail anytime of the year

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Very quiet trail with beautiful cypress swamp boardwalk. Lots of wildlife!

15 days ago

10 months ago

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Tuesday, September 08, 2015