Little Grand Canyon Trail is a 3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Pomona, Illinois that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. 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.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
459 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

There are a couple of places where you have to climb down into the canyon through the creek bed. It can be slippery and difficult when the creek is flowing. Must have good footwear for this trail. Beautiful trail, but the technical aspects are why it is rated as difficult. Follow the white blazes and hike when it is drier outside and you should have a more "moderate hike" experience. DO NOT TURN LEFT ONTO N JUNGLE RD. DEAD END. Continue on Hoffman Rd then your GPS will direct you the proper way.

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Gorgeous trail.

hiking
17 days ago

We loved this trail. It’s beautiful and challenging. Climbing down and back out was awesome! One thing I want to note, while dogs are allowed, I do not recommend taking them as they are required to be on a leash. Dogs make getting down into the canyon and back out far more dangerous. We had two small dogs and one large dog and I would not take them on this hike again. Also, as someone else here noted, going counterclockwise makes it easier! All the signage wants you to go clockwise, but we are so glad we went the other way.

hiking
1 month ago

Really good trail! Make sure to walk it against clockwise! Decent into a canyon is a bit difficult and slippery but it is much worse as an accent. Make sure to have good hiking shoes or, like my 12 years old dachshund, bring a friend to cary you down!)) Views are great! Trail is extremely well marked. Outside of 3 places it is more of the easy/moderate easy but those 3 places are difficult.
To bad it is 4 hours away from my house but if I’ll be in the area I’ll make sure to repeat it!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a really nice loop trail about 3.5 miles in all. The start either way is 'paved' with asphalt and then changes over to dirt/rocks. Very nice overlooks and well maintained.

hiking
1 month ago

We went after a rain and it was absolutely beautiful, it did make for slippery hiking conditions and it was a difficult hike through the falls. Definitely need good shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, may be difficult for small children or the disabled

hiking
1 month ago

Such a great trail! Clearly marked and it makes a 3 mile loop. I try to do this trail at least once a year.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved it. Hard for us seniors but worthwhile

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail. Great views and very challenging. First portion of trail is pretty easy. Once you climb down into the canyon, the hike becomes difficult. You need to ascend and descend through the wet and rocky streams. Portions are slippery. As long as you are careful, you can handle the trail. You probably will get a little wet and muddy. The trail offers great scenery with rock walls, rivers and forest. The trail also provides a jaw dropping view overlooking the canyon. The 3 mile trail provides a challenging hike with a great sense of satisfaction when finished. A must hike, if around the Shawnee national forest.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail! Great mix on clear path and then forging up and done a trickling streams rock bottom. Rock had steps carved in to it to help with footing but the hike was still challenging. It was a GREAT hike!!

2 months ago

awesome trail, could use better markings.

hiking
2 months ago

Bug spray is a must! South side climb is deceptive, you think you're almost back to the trailhead but you've still half the trail to go. North side climb is much more straight forward, a single slope.

If you're coming from the north, Google will tell you to take 149 and Town Creek Rd to Hickory Ridge Rd, but it's far easier to take 127 to Etherton Rd to Poplar Ridge Rd.

2 months ago

Challenging! Little easy to get lost but just follow your white marks!

2 months ago

If starting at TH at bathrooms, you’ll go UP the rocky draw on the way out. Note, about 1/2 way up turn LEFT to stay on main trail. Straight is steep, not marked and way harder.

hiking
3 months ago

The terrain type constantly varied throughout the trail, keeping us intrigued and on our toes. We enjoyed the constant change of scenery. It was a bit slippery on some of the rocks of the trail, granted it had recently rained. Overall, great trail!

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorites of Shawnee. Definitely some tricky areas but not too bad if you aren't in a hurry. Beautiful landscape changes.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this trail! We saw many varieties of mushrooms, frogs, insects, butterflies, etc. The only downside was the mosquitos in the lower section, looking forward to an early winter hike to avoid them. it can get slick and you should wear loose/stretchy shorts/pants to maneuver up and down. We did see a lot of people on this trail, it was a weekend day though.

3 months ago

one of my all time favorite places to hike.

3 months ago

amazing first experience can't wait to go back

4 months ago

I took my 4 year old in early spring. We loved it! Climbing down the creek bed is difficult so take your time. Beautiful views once you get down the the bottom. Overall nice trail to bring young children or fur babies.

4 months ago

Did it twice, once in each direction! Not too buggy, rocks are (not surprisingly) slick in the shade but easy enough to keep your feet dry.

4 months ago

Loved our mid-summer hike. Was steeper and more difficult than we expected but are definitely going back in the fall. It’s amazing that this beautiful area is tucked away here in the Midwest. Wear good hikers and bug spray for the valleys.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail is a great way to see the beautiful canyon! Some of the creek bed can be rather steep and slippery so be sure to wear the appropriate footwear. Once you descend into the canyon the mosquitoes do get a little bit bothersome so remember the bug spray.

hiking
4 months ago

Always a great trail.

hiking
5 months ago

This a spectacular trail that starts off with an easy rock path that doesn’t have that trail feel. Just wait, it gets better! Nice ridge paths and you have to climb up and down some pretty slippery river beds. Beware if you bring a dog, make sure you can lift them. Some parts of path they will need help. When you get in the canyon, be prepared, bring some good mosquito spray.
There is a nice mix of gravel, dirt with a dash of mud and sandstone. Great for all ages. Kids would love this trail. To things to remember, water and keep kids on trail. Copperheads and rattlesnakes are off trail and can be aggressive. Enjoy!!

hiking
5 months ago

My favorite trail in the Shawnee National forest. Beautiful views at the overlook. Don't be afraid to venture past the posts at the overlook and climb down onto the bluff. It is a view that is difficult to beat. Once you follow the trail down into the bottoms the atmosphere of the trail changes but is just as beautiful as the upper area. Certain parts of the decent are very mossy and slippery. Many people bring dogs to the trail but be aware that there are certain areas where you will have to lift your dog. Bug spray is a must especially during the summer season. Many ticks after most visits. Coming after a rain will provide flowing water views and some slight water crossings.
The ascent of the trail is exhausting. The views are completely worth it but be sure to pack lots of water.
The best time I have had on this trail is in the late fall when the leaves are beginning to fall. More opportunities for visibility

5 months ago

This trail was spectacular! Well marked and great scenic views. Although, you have to hike the full loop to enjoy the views but it is worth it.

hiking
6 months ago

This has been my absolute favorite thus far. We started by going left out of the parking lot and walked a gravel trail for a while, thinking that was all the trail was. We arrived at a scenic outpost and, had we stopped there, I can say it would have been a disappointment given how highly this trail is rated. The best, it turns out, was yet to come. From the outlook you hit a few cross backs that take you down in to a ravine where you climb down some rocks to get to the basin below. This was beautiful and moderately challenging, on rainy or wet days it would be difficult, and if you plan on bringing small children or pets you should know that you WILL have to lift them or carry them during some parts of this trail. Ya worth it, however, and the bottoms are pretty in their own right. Once you come to the end of the basin and it’s time to climb out the other side, there is a long stretch of rocks you climb up. There are hand and footholds to help that are placed at just the right places to help out. We took to climbing these with some speed and, at the top, we were both happy to sit for a minute and catch our breath. Once you are on top of the rock area, you’re not done. The rest of the trail is almost all an elevation climb and, by the time you reach the parking lot, you’re gassed. This trail was a great assortment of all the good stuff that I thoroughly enjoyed. I will be bringing my girls next time so they can experience it!

hiking
6 months ago

A lot of fun, if a bit slippery in some parts. Took my 7 year old son and he had a blast.

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