Oakwood Bottoms and Big Muddy River Levee Trail

EASY 4 reviews

Oakwood Bottoms and Big Muddy River Levee Trail is a 0.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Grand Tower, Illinois that features a lake 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.

0.8 miles
6 feet

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly




trail running






wild flowers


Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir Interpretive Site is part of Shawnee National Forest. A greentree reservoir is a forested area that is flooded during the dormant winter months and drained in the spring for the growing season. A boardwalk and interpretive trail makes this an easy loop. The site, which lies in the Mississippi River and Big Muddy River floodplains, was drained by a series of channels and intensively farmed until acquisition by the federal government as part of the national forest. Because the Big Muddy River levee prevents natural flooding of this site, flooding is accomplished by pumping well water. As a result of tight soils and little drainage relief, the area is primarily a wet forest. The land came under federal ownership in the 1930s and has been managed since 1964 as a public hunting facility and a timber resource management site. The site provides habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl and a laboratory for studying the effects of floodwater on a forest of pin oaks. Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir Interpretive Site features 2 nature trails. The Walk of Life Trail is a .25-mile loop on a boardwalk with interpretive signage that goes through one of the flooded timber impoundments. The .5 mile Lake Trail loops around a small pond on a mowed grass path and features rest benches and a fishing pier.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nicely maintained and informative, but boring.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The site has a short 1/4 mile boardwalk trail going out over the flood plane. Area good for birding. Primitive camping near by. Stumbled upon the site while searching for the Little Grand Canyon.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday, October 05, 2014