Little Cedar Lake via Lirley Trailhead

EASY 15 reviews
#9 of 19 trails in

Little Cedar Lake via Lirley Trailhead is a 7.8 mile out and back trail located near Makanda, Illinois that features a lake. The trail is good for all skill levels and offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.8 miles
1,292 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips

trail running





20 days ago

I originally followed the power lines as I read in a few previous comments but DON'T! That path will fork and I just so happened to choose all the right turns that got me onto the actual trail. Instead you'll walk maybe 200-300 feet from the trailhead sign in the direction of the power lines but look at each post because one is marked with a white sign that has a blue "i" on it. When you see that, look to your right and the trail goes off into the treeline. It's kind of easy to miss if you're enjoying the scenery. After that, the trail is shaded and awesome. There were some parts where trees were down but they were easy to go around. Just follow the "i"

3 months ago

Got a little off trail following the wrong markers but otherwise good

4 months ago

This trailhead is a joke. It's an access point for raised power lines and the trail is just a path beaten through the prairie grass beneath them. No tree coverage.

Also, the trailhead marker clearly rates this trail as a moderate to difficult.

7 months ago

make sure to follow the white squares with blue "i"s, especially the first one - it's in the second electric post as soon as you start

7 months ago

Nice hike in. Had trouble picking the trail back up once I reached the river.

7 months ago

Well marked trail. LOTS of fairly steep uphill climbs on this one. It was pretty muddy so the trail was rugged in many spots where you had to almost straddle the path to get footing. Beautiful spot on the lake on rock causeway. Not sure I would've ridden a horse on this trail that day due to muddy conditions, but several equestrians had in the day or two prior to our visit. If you are a beginner just know that this trail has some pretty steep ascents and with it being an out and back trail, you're going to have to come back down eventually. Please take a walking stick or trek pole to aid you especially if it's muddy.

8 months ago

Nice trail. The trailhead rates it as moderate to difficult, but I would say moderate is a fair assessment with quite a bit of up and down. It was raining when we started and so was pretty muddy and poison ivy is all over the sides of the trail. A lot of wild life, including turtles, frogs, lizards, cray fish, deer, several species of dragonflies as well as a poisonous snake in the brush when the trail takes you over the lake. Was there for 4 nights over Memorial Day weekend and only saw a hand full of other groups. Overall a great time.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Awesome trail but it was pretty tough with a 20 pound backpack. Lots of ups and downs. It may seem a lot harder to me because I am a beginner.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

This trail is the Lirley Trailhead for the Cedar Lake Trail System. It's a nice trail. Rocky hills and a few rocky creeks. Met a few hikers, bikers and horse riders on the trail. It's easy to follow and well marked. This trail goes to Cedar Lake Spillway where it joins up with a couple of other trails. From the Trail head to the Spillway and back is 7,78 miles. If you cross the spillway you'll come to signage pointing out the Cedar Lake Trail, and the Little Cedar Lake loop. These trails could be added to this Rowan trail to make a very nice long hike.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Very secluded with the well traveled river to river trail as the main route. Scenic view of Cedar Lake near the 1/4 mile mark, winter is probably your only chance as there are a lot of trees. Muddy horse trail, steep winding trails, well marked, no trash, rocky trail and small outcrops of sandstone, no people. Rain would make the creeks difficult.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday, October 14, 2013