Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Giant City Nature Trail is a 1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Makanda, Illinois that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 1.0 mi Elevation gain 160 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Cave Forest Partially paved Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

The Giant City Nature Trail is a moderate hiking trail located within the Giant City State Park trail system near Makanda, Il. L, The trail located near the Devils Standtable, an amazing rock formation and is perfect for wildlife viewing, photography, and exploring. As you begin the trail at one of the picnic area parking lots the trail features gravel or flagstone steps originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) companies during the mid-1930's. This is a loop trail that passes by several features of interest to children, including a maze of low walls and crevices that are fun for climbing, along with a couple short tunnels, leading to Fat Man's Squeeze. Native White Oak, Shagbark Hickory, Dogwood and Maple are common along the trail along with abundant seasonal wildflowers. The trail continues on and you walk under a very large balanced rock. As you head downhill, and under a huge sandstone shelf, you can easily visualize how Native Americans used these shelters as protection from the weather.

Abundant parking is available at either the #2 or # 3 Picnic pavilion shelter and playground.

Giant City State Park 235 Giant City Rd, Makanda, IL 62958 dnr.state.il.us 217-782-7498

From Carbondale, take Highway 51 south to the yellow smiley-face water tower, then turn left and drive into Makanda. Cross the railroad, turn left along the Makanda business district, and continue north out of town (with the railroad on your left) until you come to the park entrance. Giant City Park can also be reached from the northwest by taking Giant City Blacktop south from east Highway 13 at University Mall or from the east end of Grand Avenue.)The trail is accessible just past the Giant City Park Visitor's Center to either the #2 or # 3 Picnic shelters and playground.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (315)
Photos (336)
Recordings (253)
Completed (640)
View user's profile page
Miranda Machula
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
HikingGreat!

This is a gorgeous hike with really cool rock formations. It is well maintained and clearly marked. As others have said, there are lots of little side trails all along the way. I highly recommend you take your time and explore. This is definitely an easy hike for anyone who hikes even occasionally. However, there are a couple of short but steep climbs up and down, so it’s not the kind of “nature trail” that is accessible for people in wheel chairs or with other significant mobility limitations.

View user's profile page
Sheila Wheatley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

Awesome! Lots of trails on the trails to explore. Caves, mazes, bridges, neat rock formations...the kids loved it. It’s not rugged, it’s easy. There are inclines on the gravel path, but not to hard if you take your time. Along the path, there are plenty of places to rest. Trail is well maintained and worth it! One mile loop, but it will take some time as you will want to see Gods artistry!

View user's profile page
Leslie Hopkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking
View Leslie's Recording
View user's profile page
Lucky Lulu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 18, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great views and rock formations. Informative signs helped explain the rocks and the geology. Good amount of people even during the week. Glad we went but not the most relaxing place.

View user's profile page
Philip Goldkamp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking
View Philip's Recording
View user's profile page
Heath Grote
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking

Definitely not rugged (maybe moderate?), definitely did not take an hour as sign suggested

View Heath's Recording
View user's profile page
Heath Ross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking
View Heath's Recording
View user's profile page
Brad P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

Big parking lot Right next to playground, easy hike, great scenery.

View user's profile page
April Stegeman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Lovely. Great for kids (of walking age and older)

View user's profile page
Brandi Naumann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
HikingGreat!

Easy hike, kid friendly. Favorite in giant city!

View user's profile page
Trina Cahill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020

Great short hike; lots of interesting geological formations along the way. Go early or late to avoid the crowd. Busiest trail in this area. Be sure to explore off the trail. Bring a flashlight if you want to check out a couple of small caves.

View user's profile page
Erin Ragan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 3, 2020

Awesome for a short family hike. Amazing rock formations. Wear bug spray.

View user's profile page
Deidra Weaver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

it's beautiful trail and has tons of tiny books and crannys to check out

View Deidra's Recording
View user's profile page
Rach C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Great Trail. Highly recommend

View Rach's Recording
View user's profile page
Erin Cushman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking
View Erin's Recording
View user's profile page
James Kolar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2020
Hiking
View James's Recording
View user's profile page
Jamie Shultz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

I took this hike about two months ago by myself. It was a nice, safe trail. There is a lot to see on this hike, which I loved. My favorite part was seeing all the names written into the rocks. Some names dated back to the late 1800’s! Such a fun hike

View user's profile page
Jeremy Dobris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingRocky

Short, easy trail with up-close views of large sandstone formations. Note that, as of July 28th, about 2/3 of the loop is closed for maintenance. The popular Giant City ‘streets’ section is currently still accessible.

View user's profile page
Cassidy Marinho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Great trail for a Saturday morning! It is well cleared, we had no problems with bugs, and it was easy to follow the path.

View user's profile page
Kim Fine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2020
Hiking

Fun 1-mile. Climbs a bit. Able to see names carved in right close formations during the 1800s. Well maintained. A few benches throughout. The trailhead picks up at Pavilion 3.

View Kim's Recording
View user's profile page
Nathan Gibson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
Hiking

Good trail. Well maintained. Easy access for most people and children. Challenging for anyone with physical or cardiac limitations. Walked with a 7 and 5 y.o. without difficulty.

View Nathan's Recording
View user's profile page
Hiking with Shawn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020
Hiking

Very fun trail for all ages. This trail isn't wheelchair friendly and there are some rolling hills. Stay on the trail for the best results. I advise you NOT to squeeze into the "fat man squeeze" area because that is where venomous copperhead snakes migrate! The streets is the best part due to the carvings from the past. Please ensure that you don't carve. These carvings were done mainly before the land was public land and long before we wished to conserve these special areas.

View user's profile page
Nathaniel Komei
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 15, 2020

Short, easy hike with interesting rock formations. Fun for the whole family!

View user's profile page
Qasim Alharbi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 14, 2020
Hiking

Fantastic

View Qasim's Recording
View user's profile page
Alyssa Oller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 14, 2020
Hiking

Quick, easy trail for anyone, including kids and dogs! Beautiful sights along the trails!

View user's profile page
Brandon Boykin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 9, 2020
HikingOff trail
View Brandon's Recording
View user's profile page
Seth Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2020
Hiking

fun short hike with some hidden gems

View Seth's Recording
View user's profile page
Randall Romines
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 8, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail

View Randall's Recording
View user's profile page
Paulisimo Paulisimo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 17, 2019
Hiking

“Nature Trail” names scare me off as they tend to be lame but not at all the case here. Short distance but you can spend plenty of time here taking it all in. Really neat little place and very worthwhile!

View user's profile page
Thomas Sheehan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 16, 2019
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

great short hike. Well marked trail. enjoyed exploring the slot trails through this section. perfect for young families.

View Thomas's Recording
Showing results 1 - 30 of 315