Dells Canyon and Bluff Trail

MODERATE 176 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Dells Canyon and Bluff Trail is a 2.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Oglesby, Illinois that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
275 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely in December with frozen waterfalls!

hiking
1 month ago

love it!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail. Not as trashy as expected from reading other reviews.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

hiking
5 months ago

Best of Illinois landscape. Worst of Illinois people.

We hiked this small trail network for about 5 hours, there are so many nooks you can find that are simply awesome. I haven't found anywhere in Illinois that compares to the natural beauty. I strongly recommend spending time in some of the less frequently traveled areas, you can actually enjoy these and they are every bit as beautiful as the main drag.

The negative, and what held this back from a 5* review... the disrespectful trashy people. I have hiked all over this country, and never once seen a park so littered with trash, cigarette butts, and broken (!) glass. Shards of broken glass everywhere along the heavily traveled areas. My daughter and I counted over 30+ plastic bottles thrown by the wayside before we simply gave up. We saw 8+ dirty diapers people just threw on the trail presumably after changing their child. Crushed beer cans everywhere. Discarded random shirts, socks, shoes, flip flops, misc clothing. The place was disgusting in areas. People were walking around playing music, smoking, swearing, acting like fools. I have a 5 and 10 year old and wouldn't bring them back down the main canyon that was home to most of the foot traffic and trash (people). Very very sad. This could have been amazing, but apparently Illinois residents do not care much about their natural parks.

Lastly, wear shoes with decent soles, not flip flops, and be careful of thin water shoes. You will step on broken glass if you go down the trafficked canyon. If you don't have decent shoes the shards could go through your sole into your foot.

5 months ago

So much to see

5 months ago

Beautiful canyons and waterfalls. Worth the stairs!

5 months ago

Difficult in spots with so many steps! But it's pretty awesome!

love coming back home and hiking here

6 months ago

The trail was not bad, the kids love it. Enjoyed the scenery & amazing canyon. Lovely creation! People who comes here should keep it clean from their trash...

6 months ago

Hiking a couple days ago and had 2 trails closed. It was pretty but very short.

hiking
6 months ago

Large gravel perimeter trails connected to wonderful dells areas. Please bring a large trash bag and help cleanup all the trash left from low class visitors. There is a shocking amount of garbage, shoes, socks, plastic and other items left in this park. It is really a shame and the park should at least provide a few garbage cans on the main trails.

6 months ago

The trails are fun but the maps are outdated and the trails are not clearly marked with the trail names. however the waterfall wading hole makes up for it all. Not enough parking in main parking lot. had to use overflow parking which was 2 miles away.

hiking
6 months ago

Due to rains and fiscal matters, the upper dells trail was closed, but the lower dells were great.

hiking
7 months ago

We did some trails at Starved Rock and heard we had to check out Mathiessen as well. So glad we did! It was me, my wife, our 10 year old and our two boxers. We spent nearly all of our time on the interior canyon trail, which was technically closed, presumably due to a broken staircase leading down to the trail. Our risk definitely came with reward. We saw three different waterfalls along the trail and they were all gorgeous. We were there in mid-June (2017), on a weekday. We only encountered two other visitors while on the trail. I'm guessing. This was partly due to visiting during the week, but most likely because the trail was marked as "closed", and most people didn't attempt it. The water was not particularly high, so we didn't have to get our feet too wet. There was some mud to deal with, but nothing crazy. The hike was easily maneuvered by my crew, so I wouldn't consider it a difficult trail by any stretch.

hiking
7 months ago

What a beautiful place destroyed by lazy, selfish people. Garbage everywhere! Several parts of the trail were wiped out by flooding or in disrepair. I'll never be back.

hiking
7 months ago

Muddy trail but worth the view of falls. Kids loved the overall experience.

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