Lusk Creek Trail to Indian Kitchen

MODERATE 11 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Lusk Creek Trail to Indian Kitchen is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Eddyville, Illinois that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

3.8 miles
456 feet
Out & Back




trail running


horseback riding




wild flowers



The Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve features an outstanding scenic view also called Indian Kitchen. Trails for hiking and equestrian use will take you by some indications of past use by people including homestead, fruit trees, cemeteries and abandoned roads. The Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Trail is part of the Lusk Creek Wilderness, which was designated as a wilderness area by the Illinois Wilderness Act of 1990 (PL101-633) with 5126 Total Acres. 4796 acres is National Forest System Land managed by the US Forest Service. Follow the Lusk Creek Canyon Trail FS 433 from the trailhead at Eddyville Blacktop Rd along the old abandoned road for approximately 1.5 miles. The trail forks so take the left fork for approximately mile to the horse corral. A single path leads down to the bluff into the canyon where you can get a good view of the canyon walls. You may encounter slippery surfaces and steep slopes, especially in wet conditions. Stay on the trail. All items are protected by law. Also, horses are not permitted in the Preserve. Canoeing is very a popular activity on Lusk Creek during the spring and early summer. Camping along the creek is discouraged because of the probability of flash flooding. Also, camping is not allowed in Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve. Located adjacent to Lusk Creek Wilderness is the East Fork Special Management Area. This area is designated to become a wilderness all its own. The Illinois Wilderness bill has designated East Fork to become a Wilderness area in late November, 1998.

26 days ago

Lusk Creek Wilderness is a beautiful and magical place and would easily get 5 stars — except for the horses. Eff the horses.

The below detailed equestrian issues aside, we had a good time. We backpacked three days/two nights. Info on good spots to pitch a tent are difficult to come across online, but with some exploring, we found a couple nice rock sheltered sites with existing fire rings (photo geo located on the map) that kept us dry in the storms. We saw a lot of fish down at Indian Kitchen but didn't have any luck catching supper. I'd be up for exploring the area more, but only during a dry period where the trails may be a little more passable...

You know how mountain bikers have an unwritten rule to not use trails when wet? Horse trail riders have no such rule, and the trail system is a decimated mucky mess of ankle deep manure infused sludge. Even the little work arounds that hikers have tried to create have also taken over by horse tracks. Many of the riders seemed to have an attitude of "this place is for horses, why are you here?" This was evident each time they'd act all upset that their horse was skittish of people walking on foot. A woman on horse back even yelled at us in bad word language while we were trying to cook breakfast (I guess a tent and small fire was too much for her horse to handle as she had to get off and walk the frightened animal past us, making it clear how we'd inconvenienced her).

That said, there were a couple friendly riders, but they were few compared to the rebel-flag-wearing loud obnoxious fireball-drinking self entitled trail ruining horsie riders.

Additionally, the trails are poorly marked. Inconsistent to non existent blazes coupled with riders making their own trails wherever they please can make navigating tricky, even with a compass and map.

1 month ago

2 months ago

worth the hike, beautiful!!

2 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

9 months ago

11 months ago

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Went there last fall, it is worth the hike!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Although this trail starts out easy through pine stands and old farmstead roads, the Indian Gardens and Lusk Creek Nature makes it worth the hike. This hike, out and back, can also extend to numerous other trails throughout the Lusk Creek Wilderness area. It offers great overnight backpacking opportunities.

Sunday, October 05, 2014