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Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(84)
Fults Hill Prairie

Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve Trail is a 1.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Prairie du Rocher, Illinois that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from March until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 1.4 mi Elevation gain 383 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)

The sign at the trailhead rates this hike as extreme, but this is mostly in reference for a few exposed areas and ledges and a set of steep stairs. Older children and anyone with moderate fitness and agility will likely be easily able to complete this loop. See reviews for more takes on the "extreme" rating, and decide if this is the right hike for you!

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (84)
Photos (66)
Recordings (44)
Completed (153)
Holly Vironda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
BugsOver grownRocky

Tough hike. I would not take little kids. Really overgrown. Steep. Trail goes close to the edge a few times. We walked through grass and weeds up to our chests. The stairs are fine, but if you do the whole loop, the climb down is steep and rugged.

Shane Kellogg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

When you need a challenge and want to see some nature this is the place

View Shane's Recording
Erin Wallace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 18 2020
Hiking

One of our favorite places in spring and winter. Not so great right now-nearly overgrown.

Rick Ihnat
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun May 31 2020
HikingBugs

Open! Open! Open! They have a sign requesting you wear sneakers instead of hiking boots which they think will tear up the trail more. The sign is up the stairs a bit, so I went back to my car and put on sneakers. Didn't see much prairie. Easier, IMO, to walk down stairs than a steep, rocky trail, so hike this clockwise.

Marie Ballinger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue May 12 2020
HikingClosed

Trail is idnr : closed to covid 19.

J Reichert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 10 2020
Hiking

Definitely worth checking out. Beautiful look outs along the bluff. My 9 and 10 year olds handled it but I don’t know if I would take kids much younger than that. Steep climbs with rocky terrain and washed out in spots. This trail is located along the same road as White Rock and Salt Lick so you could knock all three out if you are coming from a distance.

Yvonne C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 08 2020
HikingRocky
View Yvonne's Recording
Rozilyn Daniels
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 23 2020
Hiking

Awesome! Beautiful views!

Jackie Powers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Feb 18 2020
Hiking

This is not young children friendly. The trail is rated as EXTREME not moderate. It was beautiful but not for the faint of heart. I hike almost every weekend in the Shawnee National Forest, and this was the most difficult and dangerous trail I’ve completed.

J. Ohs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 31 2019
Hiking

A great, short trail! Great views, interesting wildlife and vegetation, nice trail that was appropriately challenging for my 8-year-old and me. We're looking forward to hiking it again in different seasons!

Ben Lipe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 22 2019
HikingSnow

Whoa! Wooden stairs head straight up the bluffs. Dirt path from there onward. Great view from the top though. All of the elevation change is at the beginning and end of the trail. Not much to see afterwards. Trail is dog friendly.

View Ben's Recording
Jonathan Murray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Nov 17 2019
WalkingRocky

Nice views. Stairs on one side. Steep slope to hike on other. The kids had fun and handled it no problem, but need to be careful near edges of the bluffs.

View Jonathan's Recording
Christopher Bunton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 04 2019
Hiking

The road is now open. They were repairing the bridge that crossed the Kaskaskia River and it took them forever. But, I just drove the road from Ellis Grove all the way to Columbia, and it is open. The trail is wonderful and it's rarely used. Here's a review from my blog https://chrisbunton.blogspot.com/2019/11/fults-hill-prairie-nature-preserve.html

Shari Klaustermeier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 04 2019
HikingOver grown

The road is still closed but you are able to walk to the trail from the north side.

Chris Hester
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 28 2019
Hiking
Richard Dachroeden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 27 2019
Hiking

Sat July 7/27/2019 The road to the trail head was closed at Fults rd. Just a heads up.

Courtney Ramatowski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 03 2019
Hiking

My guy remembered going to this trail for an ecology class a few years ago and said it was worth checking out. I agree. It was a bit hard to get to today because of road closings due to flooding in the area but it was worth the detour. We aren’t very avid hikers (and honestly, I’m pretty high on the BMI index) and almost let the extreme rating at the trail head deter us, especially when checking out the stairs immediately to the right. Definitely worth the hike up, and make sure to take time to stop and use the overlooks on the way up. The rest of the trail is pretty neat but those views are what makes it worth it.

Alexis Zahringer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 07 2019
Hiking

An absolutely wonderful experience! I hope you didnt skip leg day because the stairs up the bluff are exhausting. The pathway down the bluff of the opposite side is also rough but only because of the over growth and the rocks. Overall, it was fun and totally worth it!

Ryan Massey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 05 2019
Hiking

The beginning and the end are brutal. Gaining about 300 feet in about a 1/3 of a mile is intense. Your legs will be burning and you'll be out of breath, but it is worth it. The rest of the hike is a nice stroll through a forest. It is really peaceful.

Marija E
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Mar 27 2019
HikingRocky

It is rugged, washed out in some places, and you may get slapped by a sapling here and there. And I love it. This trail is not something you can half heartedly walk. It’ll get your heart pumping. Whenever you stop to take a breather make sure you look around. This is a nature lovers treat. There are wildflowers growing in every season. Take a minute to sit at one of the out crops. Vultures soar almost within reach. You can hear birds call from all around. Frogs call from flooded plains. The trail is not marked but it is well used. This isn’t kid friendly. Unless your kid is a dog. Then they’ll be worn out! Just make sure your dog isn’t a puller, the trail isn’t too forgiving of a yank down hill. There are no facilities at the trail and the closest gas station is quite a bit away but the hike only takes about an hour.

Catherine Betz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 07 2019
Hiking

Beautiful winter hike! The trail was well maintained though not marked. It isn't a long hike, but it has some steep climbs to get your heart pounding, as well as diverse and unusual habitats. The steep prairies are breathtaking and unlike anything I've seen elsewhere. I'd like to come back in the summer to see the wildflowers in bloom. This hike was okay with dogs; I wouldn't take small kids, though. We started the loop by taking the stairs heading southeast. You'll quickly get to the prairie, then turn away from the bluffs and walk through a forest on the spine of a ridge that loops around a hollow. When you reach the prairie again, be sure to take the spur that leads straight toward the bluff before doubling back to the main trail, which leads back down to the parking lot.

Justin Lindsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 13 2018
Walking

I really wanted to enjoy this trip with my family. I took my two kids (3 and 8) and while it was great to get them out into the woods. The trail was more of a deer path than a family friendly trail. I’m going to go and hike it on my own. But it is certainly not kid appropriate.

Cori Croteau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 05 2018
Hiking

Steep stair climb at first. Looks like folks get to the west lookouts for the good views then turnaround and head back down. After the west view the trail was very overgrown to where you couldn’t see it. So we turned around and went back down. We might revisit another time of year.

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