Cove Hollow Trail to Cedar Lake Trail is a 5.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Alto Pass, 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.
dogs on leash
A portion of this trail is a loop around Cedar lake. You also have the option for an out and back to the trailhead on Rowan Road at Makanda. The trail is well blazed with only a couple of junctions missing blazes. A large segment of this trail is part of the River to River trail. The trail is in good shape generally. There are a few washed out sections due to erosion on steeper slopes. There is a mixture of hardwood and some larger groves of short leaf pine. The first portion of the trail is a loop around the lake with an option to go out and back to the Lirley trail head near Makanda.
Solid hike. Not many signs or markings but the trail was well kept and easy to follow. Cool rock formations and some nice views of lake from a far. The views might be more obstructed when all the trees have their leaves. Easier than Little Grand Canyon.
We had never done Cove Hollow before. Our aim was to go from Cove Hollow Trail Head to Boat Dock Road. The hike was beautiful but not well marked. Indeed, it was this app that we finally had to rely on to navigate our way. Had a blast anyway. Just glad we got to the cars before dusk.
Trail markers were not easy to spot, got a little lost a couple times. I highly recommend going off the beaten path though if you are a good navigator. Amazing beauty! Expect a decent workout here.
Did this one today. I parked on Boat Dock Road and hiked to the north trail head and back. Nice trail, and pretty easy to follow. I am pretty sure I did the Wolf Den trail both on the way in and the way back. Hard to say for sure, as the signage was a little ambiguous. Awesome scenery and a little bit of a challenge. Took me about 4 hours total.
Did this one about a week ago (Oct 15 or 16) the colors were awesome. I did loose the trail a few times after going downward from the initial descent. The only trail marker i saw, other than the trail head, was a tiny blue blaze with a bold arrow on it pointing down the bluffs. After that it was "follow the bluffs and hope it is right". After a little while i found a river bed and followed it as it was right along the bluffs. At the top of the bluffs all traces of trail dissappeared. Sooo i made myself some food and hiked back the way i came. It was a bummer to not know where to go, better to take a lunch break and go back the way you came rather than get lost. That was the way i saw it anyway. Awesome views and found some nice pic worthy fall colors on the way back as well, not a loss at all!
Keep hiking, you just might find yourself.
The trail markers need refreshed and the signage replaced. Otherwise I really enjoyed this trail. Definitely going back.
I was all over this place today and it rocks. lots of primitive camping sites and plenty of scenic spots. check it out.
This trail has two trail heads, one towards the north of the lake and another towards the south-west (shown in map). We hiked in June and the shrubs were overgrown, at times we could not find the trail at all. Trees had fallen and closed off the trail completely. As mentioned in the previous review, the trail divides into two. So just be careful about which one you take. Overall, it's an unkempt trail and laden with ticks. But, it's also one of the most untouched trails, I have seen. Even though there might not be anyone in the trail, you can always hear nearby fishermen n the lake. So, if you don't mind getting lost or have a good internal sense of direction i would definitely suggest this one.
Awesome trail w some tough spots. Took low trail in then backtracked and took a high trail over falls and cave until the trail disappeared. Definitely goin back to this one!