Jackson Falls Trail

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Ozark, Illinois

Jackson Falls Trail is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ozark, Illinois that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. 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.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 416 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Jackson Falls trail follows the top of the bluff (southeast) around to the "dog leg" where you can walk into the canyon. Rock Climbing and Bouldering are favorite activities. Rock climbing and bouldering between three water falls.

hiking
muddy
rocky
22 days ago

My 3 kiddos (13,8,6) & I all did the entire loop today! there were definitely spots where it got a little hairy.. and had a little bit of difficulty following the right trails a couple times. Turned around at one point, but ended up finding our way down into the canyon... We just asked other people who we met on the trail&they were all super helpful with getting it figured out. :) So glad that we did keep going down to see it all, was well worth it!! The road getting to the trailhead is pretty rough. Was worried my minivan wouldn't be able to make it back up&out... Gravel, steep, washed out in places, lots and lots of pot holes.. narrow, very narrow. But again, it was all worth it in the end we thought.

hiking
scramble
27 days ago

Beuatiful! Love the huge boulders!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful waterways, tough hike if you do the loop. I'll certainly do it again, but I had to put my German Shepard on my shoulders to get back up from the lower trail. If you don't go to the bottom you miss out on the best views, but I wouldn't suggest it if you aren't in decent shape.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an awesome trail. Only about .25 mile to the top of the falls from the car park. Getting to the bottom is a little longer of a route but definitely worth the trek as you walk along the top of the rock formation and make your way down into the valley. Ate lunch right underneath the waterfall. Overall great rock climbing and hiking and would highly recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved it!!!! One of the best I’ve been on!!! Some parts not good for small kids or dogs. Great place for tent camping!!! Also i would advise taking an SUV or truck. A car is not likely to make it. It’s a rough access road.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This trail IS a loop if you do the following. We started following trail 0.48 to the right when you park by the falls. Follow until you see two pink markers. At this point, it sounds like people turn around, hence the idea that it could be an out and back. There is a clear path to climb down some rocks toward train tracks and you will see a couple orange markers. Follow the tracks to the left down a few hundred yards and you will see another orange marker. This is your trail back to the falls that it seems like many people miss but once you’re there, it is a very clear trail. At this point, you’re following .49 instead of .48. After walking through the valley a bit, .49 will split. Follow left for the falls, right will take you a much longer way. As you follow .49, it’s very well marked and easy to get back to the falls. We saw some rock climbers on our way back! Going this way allows you to see the falls from the bottom instead of just the top. Definitely worth the view and the chance to stick your toes in the water

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Not an actual loop, and if your goal is to see lower falls.. A. Download or Bring Topo map. No cell service. B. Give yourself at least 4-5 hours of light. There is nothing quick about this. C. Don't bring young kids/pets as you will have to do some "all fours" climbing down and up from the lower trail. Approx 40 feet down or more. There is no legitimate trail map that i saw at the parking bulletin board. I ended up following the one 49 trail about 3 miles past where it appears I was supposed to turn to go up back to the falls area. Trail was marked fairly well but I saw nothing obvious indicating where to go to get to lower falls. All in all a beautiful hike but I never did make it to the lower falls as I ran out of light having hiked over 6 miles down and back. Hopefully next time I can get it right.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

**Not kid-friendly. Many sections of the path are close to the cliffs. It’s a great hike for adults. This is NOT a loop as others have said. There’s no sign telling you turn around either. As a parent it was very stressful. This trail goes above the falls only.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Hiked from the parking lot to the Dog Trot and climbed down to the lower trail. Then hiked on trail 49 most of the time in a complete 6.8 mile loop, then back up at the Dog Trot and back to the parking lot. Beautiful scenery and not too much up and downhill on this trail for being in the Shawnee Hills. A February hike makes for some neat ice formations on the sides of the bluffs. Encountered many friendly rock climbers along the way. This hike is a little long for very young kids but not bad otherwise. Sorry Alltrails, but the Avenza Android app has a really good $2.00 map of the area that will help you make this loop hike. I wouldnt try it without knowing where you are going.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Great scenery, made a day of it. 9/10

hiking
flooded
off trail
over grown
rocky
5 months ago

Not. A. Loop. (But made it into one...) Beautiful scenery that pictures would never give justice. Only crossed paths with one other couple that was very friendly. Not kid or dog friendly. Good time otherwise.

hiking
6 months ago

My family hikes a lot... this trail is beautiful but I’m giving it a rating of two because I definitely would not call it kid friendly OR dog friendly. Trail wasn’t marked properly. Ended up hiking double the expected distance. Had to climb up an area of the bluff with dogs to get back to the trail. Ended up on a road and following the road back to our car. Let me say it one more time for parents thinking of taking young kids... this IS NOT a kid friendly trail. My dog fell ten feet into a crevice. Thank goodness she’s okay! If you are into climbing or some rigorous outdoor exploration, this is the area for you.

hiking
6 months ago

The trail is not very well marked. Luckily I was able to use the AllTrails app. Even with the app I had to look around to find out how to descend from the Ridgetop to the valley and back on the other end. It is a very beautiful trail and a recent rain provided a Great waterfall.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

This area was beautiful but about 2miles into this trail, the trail just seemed to disappear, so we went back to a spot where we thought maybe the trail was supposed to go down (because it’s high up on cliffs) but that was a mistake! We were on a trail but it was one of the other trails so instead of a 3.7 mile hike we ended up doing a 5 mile hike with our daughter that was exhausted. She said to give this trail 0 stars lol looking at everyone else’s recordings it seems most people did the same thing we did though

backpacking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

We only went as far as the falls..which were completely dried up but there are interesting rock formations.

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