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Ferne Clyffe Waterfall Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Goreville, Illinois that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 2.1 mi Elevation gain 282 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
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Facilities
Contact
Getting There

A moderately difficult 0.75-mile hike that begins a Deer Ridge Campground and also leads to the waterfall. Please note that users have reported poor trail markings in the area. Be sure to record your hike to avoid getting lost.

Picnicking Ferne Clyffe has been a favorite picnic spot for decades. Seven picnic areas, have tables, cooking grills, parking and toilets, and several also have shelters, drinking water and playground equipment. Only park grills or personal cookstoves should be used for cooking fires to avoid the possibility of damaging the site. Camping Ferne Clyffe has a campground for every type of camper: modern, primitive, youth groups, backpack or equestrian. Shower facilities offered at some campgrounds are available seasonally. Deer Ridge campground is a well-shaded Class A facility offering gravel pads with electricity, picnic tables and cooking grills. Drinking water, showers, flush toilets and a sanitary dump station complete the setting for campers who prefer to include a few comforts of home with their outdoor adventure. Turkey Ridge is for campers who want a serene outdoor experience. It is a Class C walk-in campground that includes camp pads, picnic tables, cooking grills and showers. Drinking water and toilets are located near the parking lots. Scouts, church groups and other youth groups will enjoy the Youth Group campground. This Class D facility is equipped with drinking water, picnic tables, cooking grills, toilets and parking. Groups of minors must have adequate supervision, with at least one adult accompanying each 15 minors. Backpackers enjoying their commune with nature will appreciate the solitude of the individual campsites in the Class C Backpack campground. Located a half-mile from the Turkey Ridge primitive campground parking lot, these woodland sites have cooking grills, toilets and showers. Water and trash receptacles are available at the Turkey Ridge parking lot. You're reminded to be careful with your fires and to pack out what you pack in.

P.O. Box 10 Goreville, IL 62939 618.995.2411

Ferne Clyffe State Park can be reached from I-57 and I-24. The park is well signed from both interstate highways. If traveling south on I-57, take the Goreville exit, #40, approximately 12 miles south of Marion, IL At exit #40 turn left (east), go 5 miles to IL Rt. 37. Turn right (south) on Rt. 37,

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Reviews (172)
Photos (289)
Recordings (71)
Completed (536)
Kim Fine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Easy, well marked. Circles small lake. Mostly shade. A few muddy spots where streams enter lake. This was a spur. Did not see waterfall.

View Kim's Recording
Michelle Monteil
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

The waterfall trail is really easy and short, good with young kids. The campground trail was up the bluff and it was pretty easy and fun climbing up the bluffs. Not marked well though going up, but it was easy to figure out navigate where to go by looking for the work ground.

Joellen Vohlken
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 16 2020
Hiking

We hiked this trail June 12, 2020. When looking for Waterfall Trail, be aware there are four trails that make up the listed 2.1 miles. The actual ‘waterfall’ trail is marked Big Rocky Hollow. The 2.1 miles includes Hawk’s Cave, Rebman and Boy Scout trails. Each is a different type of hike and beautiful in its own unique way. You can access all trails from the same parking area; Big Rocky Hollow to the right, all others to the left over the creek. Nice picnic area with a bathroom. The ‘waterfall’ trail, Big Rocky Hollow is an easy walk in and back. Nice wide even path. Great for small children and anyone with physical limitations. At the beginning of the trail to the right, you can go off trail a bit. There is a magnificent bluff and lush vegetation. I would class it easy/moderate. The waterfall wasn’t running due to dry weather. The pool at the bottom was a nice spot to enjoy. You could scale the rocks and walk across the fall.

Michael Maddox
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 12 2020
HikingBugs

It was so poorly marked it was difficult to stay on the trail. You could tell many others had trudged through the same area, but it was overgrown with poison ivy and full of ticks.

Aundra Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed May 27 2020
Hiking

It’s not a trail but a small walk for very small children. Once you get to the falls its a trickle but many people were climbing up into it. Little pond to play in, but lots of people and many of them carrying glass.

Mindy Kirkton
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed May 27 2020

NOT AN EASY TRAIL. My husband and I came to this specific trail bc it advertised wheelchair friendly, he has a prosthetic leg and this hike was a killer on him! 4.2 miles up-down, tree vines, rocks... I'd say it's closer to difficult! Also, there must be a good rain for the falls to be there. No falls today.

Michael Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 01 2020
Hiking

Nice hike. Waterfall was a nice cool place to relax. Be careful following path above, it looks like they are trying to keep people off this “trail”. We parked in the campground parking lot and came down the bluff.

Stephanie Jerstad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri May 01 2020
Hiking

Didn’t get all the way to the end. Will try another day

View Stephanie's Recording
Sean Hargrove
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 27 2020
HikingClosed

It’s closed.

Randall Romines
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jan 15 2020
Hiking

Worst marked trail ive ever been on

View Randall's Recording
Brent Mier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Nov 27 2019

Fun little trail. Would call it more moderate than easy, but not too strenuous. Had rained the night before and the waterfall was flowing really beautifully. A terrific hiking partner always helps.

David Morgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 19 2019
Hiking

Came to check out the trail for the horses and found them to be very lovely and scenic marked but could include numbers to identify the actual trail you are on.

View David's Recording
Dottie M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 17 2019
Hiking

Trail to falls is an easy hike unfortunately the falls were nonexistent..still a nice little hike.

Maranda Mayer
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Aug 16 2019
HikingOff trailRocky

Trail map misleading. Not well marked.

Dottie M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 15 2019

No water in falls.

Amberly Reeder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 07 2019
HikingBugs

Great trail. Easy to find, easy to walk. LOTS of mosquitos!

Judy Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 21 2019
Hiking

Beautiful scenery but have to pick over rocks and roots. Employees told us drive to the other end and it’s 1 mile on a broad trail. Take the sign that says picnic area and shelter. Beautiful either way... just a little water today on the fall. Big Rocky Hollow Trail goes to waterfall. There is a sign at a circle drive by the creek.

TanaLee Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 21 2019
Hiking

Short jaunt but beautiful. We enjoyed parking at campground and following head of the waterfall down!

Cassie Luzan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 07 2019
Hiking

Depending on the entrance you take hike is very easy and short. We went through the camp ground entrance. So going from there was a moderate hike the once crossing the creek onto the trail extremely easy. Could bring kids / stroller if needed. Hope that helps :) otherwise just take a normal “sign” trail.

Melissa Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 06 2019

Great place

Doug Neidholdt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 26 2019
Hiking

Return visit with family. The water fall can be accessed from campground or from an easy hike below. Special scenic area, must visit while at the park.

Kaitlyn Crowe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 09 2019
Hiking

The path straight to the waterfall is flat, easy, and highly trafficked. Loved getting off the beaten path to see the waterfall from above. Took out toddler but held on tight and carried for a portion of the trail.

Kristin Yach
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 23 2019

great hike

Shanna McHellen
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 23 2019
Hiking

Very confusing the way the map directs is not the entrance... this trail is above the trail and we couldn’t figure it out

View Shanna's Recording
Kara Hutchinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 18 2019

Beautiful fun hike

Sean Mizulski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 03 2019
HikingMuddy

First leg is a little bland for sightseeing and majority of the waterfalls / rock cliffs are the last quarter mile. If your looking for photos and sights would recommend taking the trail counter clockwise. Overall an easy hike with plenty to see and do. Great area for children and pets as well.

Courtney McKinley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 30 2018
Hiking

One of my favorite places to go. When you catch it at a good time, the waterfall is amazing. It’s a very easy walk (and short) to get to the back, and once you are there you will want to stay and enjoy it!

Carly Merz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 29 2018

Spend time camping in this area. Backpacking is good here, though I had trouble finding the primitive camping spots.... and the trails keep you moving and looking for more! The sunsets are beautiful and the stars are bright here.

Becca Baird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 21 2018

Very easy trail, beautiful year round, but can be crowded with people on the weekends.

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