Ferne Clyffe Waterfall Trail

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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.

2.1 miles
282 feet

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly




nature trips

trail running






wild flowers


A moderately difficult 0.75-mile hike that begins a Deer Ridge Campground and also leads to the waterfall

1 day ago

There's a very good chance that the creek won't be running, as it only flows after a period of prolonged rain. However, I walk the trail on a pretty regular basis, and find it to be a pretty charming walk through a really beautiful forest regardless. One definite perk is that throughout the hike you can see cliffs rising through the trees on either side of the trail; these cliffs become more prominent as the gorge narrows. When the water is flowing, there is a really unique waterfall that tumbles into a deep cleft in the cliff to the right of the trail.

17 days ago

The trail was very easy with a moderately trafficked gravel pathway. We went in the afternoon as that morning there was heavy rainfall. We noted that the creek leading up to the waterfall was dried up and once at the waterfall found that it was dried up as well. There is a split path that allows you to climb to the top of the waterfall to explore the rocky area. There were fellow hikers at the waterfall when we arrived and we were informed that the waterfall only runs in the spring time despite recent rains. We did bring both of our Siberian huskies and found it was easy to navigate.

1 month ago

beautiful trail

1 month ago

Fun trail but has little in the way of signs. We took a wrong turn and ended up on another trail. The whole area was beautiful!

3 months ago

Grrrrr, Arrrrh, Urrrrr!

3 months ago

Easy hike. Waterfall is beautiful when leaves are green. be careful and don't climb on the waterfall it is very slippery.

3 months ago

This is a great little trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall. I went a day after heavy rains and it seemed to be the right time to go.There are 2 ways to start this trail, there is a moderate trail head by the campsites and an easy trailhead by the picnic areas. Both leading to the same place. If you start from the Picnic areas it is graveled/ dirt path to the waterfall, pretty flat, but there are numerous trails that go up into the rocks and waterfalls along the way. the main trail I do not believe is 2 miles, but I did a little exploring on the extra paths which made it longer. Very doggo friendly,my doggo loved it. through out the park and other trails I went on, not many trail heads,but more then likely you will always find a good path that will lead the way.

4 months ago

Well-maintained path. Perfect for an easy walk. The waterfall was beautiful today.

4 months ago

Easy trail. Very pretty walk thru valley with rock walls. Waterfall was very pretty and running strong when we saw it. Worth the walk.

4 months ago

This is a great little hike. Short trail with a beautiful waterfall. Good year-round! I love climbing up the waterfall at the end.

5 months ago

Did this last year but it was in the dry part of the season. Trail was easy to hike and a great starter for kids. There was a waterfall at the end of it but just trickling due to lack of rainfall so suggest just after a good rain. Easy access trails from the campsite and close to other trail heads. Over all ‘ relaxing’.

5 months ago

Go during the winter! Seeing the waterfall frozen over is amazing

5 months ago

Gorgeous especially after a good rain! I thought we may never make it as fun as the kiddos were having playing in the creek on the way. Bluffs were gorgeous, too!

10 months ago

Excellent trail.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

This was a very beautiful trail! It was dry when we went on it, but the waterfall area was still very pretty. Lots to look at and huge rocks all around the whole way back to the waterfall.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

If you google Ferne Clyffe waterfall and if the googlemaps or gps takes you to a dirt road then you are at wrong location. Instead search for FC State park and then keep following the picnic area directions (signs do not have arrows...one sign board has one arrow at the very end and other sign board has small font under picnic area stating go straigh ahead...it is easy to miss unless you stop and read it carefully). Once you enter picnic area there are tons of picnic tables...keep going all the way to the end until you reach cul de sac area and then you can park near that picnic area and there are 4 different trails.... Big Rocky Hollow Trail (waterfall) was decent hike unfortunately no water... second hike which we did was Hawks Cave Trail (caves)...this trail is loop and you have cross the caves and then there is a way which is not very clearly visible..

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I would recommend going on this trail after a good rain.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Loved this trail. We went off track and climbed up the gorge to the top of the bluff and down the waterfall. Although short it was like a real hike rather than just a trail walk. Would totally recommend but don't stay on the wide trails scramble over the rocks.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

This was a great trail, easy if you stayed on the wide path but you can go off and climb around on the rocks some too which was fun. There were many people with dogs and strollers as it was a well maintained path. At the beginning of the trail there is a picnic area where we had lunch. There are also latrines (bathrooms that don't flush), so bring your hand wipes and you'll be all set! The short distance provides a pretty waterfall, not very big when we were there but it was still worth it. We went in April and it was the perfect temperature. Have a great time!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Beautiful views main trail of the park. Wide, gravel, with wooden bridges. Careful of climbing waterfall rocks are slippery.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Beautiful views!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

beautiful waterfall

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Best hike in the park. Easy, scenic little canyon. best do early in day to beat the crowds.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Love this trail. I've hiked it more times than I can count, and it's always great. You can walk straight to the waterfall and back and the trail is perfectly flat and easy for trail rates strollers. That makes the trail much shorter, though.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

beautiful views and an easy trail to navigate for a nice walk.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Nice hike for kids or those who only want a short hike. Best time to come is during or right after a long rain storm. Lots of areas to explore off the main trail.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

the "waterfall" was dried up. but there was caves on the other side of the park that was fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

One of my favorites. To see the waterfall you should hike it in the late Spring, early Summer or after a period of rainy weather for the area. Very easy trail, strollers can be taken on it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

me and my four yr old hiked today. it was beautiful and fun. most the water was dried up though.

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