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Fountain Bluff Powerline Trail (SNF 304)

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Shawnee National Forest

Fountain Bluff Powerline Trail (SNF 304) is a 2.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Grand Tower, Illinois that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking.

Distance: 2.7 miles Elevation Gain: 524 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

Fountain Bluff offers reathtaking views of the Mississippi River. The trail has some challenging hills and a scenic creek to follow with natural springs and side canyons to explore.

Great trail with lots of diversity. From seeing miles down the Mississippi River, to beautiful creeks and canyons. I recommend going when there is little to no foliage to get the best views. There are several creek crossing so either wear high water proof boots or wait a few days after it rains. We were able to have the dogs off leash the majority of the trail. There were at least two more trails linking to this one that we want to come back and explore. And another hiker told us we stopped just a half mile shy of making it to the Mississippi River bank. Due to the elevation changes and creek crossings, I would rate this at least medium difficulty and definitely not easy.

hiking
Sat Jan 12 2019

Fountain Bluff is awesome in itself, but very few know there is an actual National Forest Trail atop of the Happy Hallow road. Park at the first lookout, to the left (south), is a steep hill or old road, that is the trail. This trail follows the Powerline Access road. The topside has 3 steep climbs including an INSANE Super Climb. After about a mile, the trail goes down (from over 600 ft elevation down to the river level) in a very short distance, you may need to slide on your butt.. If you must turn back the way you came.. Good Luck. Immediately at the base of the super steep hill in a meadow type area, the trail makes a U-Turn to the left. Trail is NOT MARKED, so you may have to depend on GPS to stay on this trail that goes back into Trestle Hallow Creek - Do Not follow the wrong road (the wrong road will go up a steep hill), or that will take you on a longer 4-5 mile loop. Following Trestle Creek, you will pass scenic streams, boulders, Natural Springs, Side Canyons, mini waterfalls under the right conditions. This will continue until the trail goes up the hill. There are a few confusing spots so using a GPS or mapping app is suggested. It will turn into an old road, and run back with the original trail (3rd Power pole from the parking area)