Chief Illini Trail

MODERATE 16 reviews

Chief Illini Trail is a 4.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Findlay, Illinois that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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.

4.9 miles
282 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





horseback riding

mountain biking




wild flowers


A trail at Eagle Creek State Park to Lone Point. A shelter for picnic And camping exists 3 miles from the loan point trailhead 8 miles from the Eagle Creek trailhead.

6 months ago

it is a lovely place with wonderful views i give it the 4star for the average person a 3.5star for the more fit person would not recomend rainy season just cause of the valley's and a creek bed that you must cross

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gave it a 1 star because we drove an hour to specifically hike the Chief Illini trail and at the trailhead there was a sign saying "closed-do not enter". Nothing on any websites, nothing at the entrance to the park...

We did hike other trails in the park and they were ok. A lot of maintenance needs to be taken care of (overgrown trees, bushes and weeds) and the trail mileages are listed but the trails themselves criss-cross and are hard to follow. Another awkward situation is that the smaller trails cross right through people's campsites...

We had a nice time but probably won't go back...too far for potential closures and high maintenance needs...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Friday, November 13, 2015

Challenging trail in distance and elevation gain in the middle of the otherwise flat Great Plains. Vast majority of trail is moderately deep in the woods and away from civilization but not particularly scenic. Depending on your "eek" reflex, you may want to avoid this trail from late spring to late summer due to epidemic tick population. I use this trail as a training location for backpacking trips.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Chief Illini Trail follows the western edge of Lake Shelbyville between Eagle Creek State Park and the USACE-operated Lone Point campground/boat launch. The trail is 11.3 miles in total length with parking lots located every few miles, allowing hikers to modify the length of their hike if they wish. White blazes painted on trees mark the path. The trail is mostly wooded with sugar maples, white oak, red oak, chinkapin oak and paw paw trees in the upland slopes. Heavy flooding a few years ago washed out several of the foot bridges that cross over wet areas in coves and ravines. During late fall this was not an issue but during spring or summer the trail may become impassable or require some off-trail hiking to bypass the obstacle. At approximately three miles from the Lone Point trailhead, some old farm equipment is located a little ways off the trail. With nice views of the lake and the somewhat demanding and rugged terrain, the trail gives the sense of being in a place further from central Illinois.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chief Illini Trail is a rugged 11.3 mile hiking trail located in Central Illinois near Findlay, Illinois in Eagle Creek State Park. Others might disagree with my review of the trail overall; but, I thought the trail was both impressive and an endeavor with 50+ lbs. packs as a conditioning hike for a pending 13 day backcountry trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in July. The trail does need some work which is actively being addressed by the Army Corps of Engineers. I recommend beginning at the Eagle Creek Trailhead and Hiking to Lone Point Campground. The campgrounds in this park are extremely well maintained. The trail offers nice canopy and timber depth that with the exception of a few brushes with homesteads will give you the feeling of being in a much deeper environment married with some beautiful scenic brushes with Lake Shelbyville. I definitely recommend this trail; rugged and primitive, but most definitely worth it. I would not, based on the way we approached out hiking of this trail, consider it a leisure trail... it is a very versatile trail... whether you are just looking to take a long stroll or you are out for a healthy and demanding workout, this trail can accommodate.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Things are about to change on the Illini Trail in a big way: on June 30, it becomes the pilot project for Illinois Trail Corps, a civilian conservation service + volunteer model for repairing and building trails in our state. In five weeks, we'll knock out much of the reroute and repair that Illini desperately needs. We'll be posting updates and pictures to Facebook ( and Twitter (@Trails4Illinois #ILtrailcorps).See to find out more!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

We just hiked an hour in and an hour back out, at a pretty quick pace, but we have plans to hike the whole thing in the next month. If you start at Eagle Creek SP, like we did, you will need to cross the road from where you park to find the trail head. Trail maintenance is lacking, but not surprising considering our state's finances. We actually LOVED this trail, and felt like we were way out in the timber for once instead of just off the road. There were a few spots that we had to hunt for the orange tags tied around the trees, to mark the trail.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

I give this trail only two stars because it was in poor condition. There were several areas where trees had fallen over the trail and trails thru standing water. But the most serious issue was the ticks. The wife and the dog and I were covered with over 100 ticks. It was ridiculous. Avoid if possible

2 months ago

4 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

recorded Illini Trail

Tuesday, October 06, 2015