Rim Rock Recreational Trail

MODERATE 95 reviews
#3 of 20 trails in

Rim Rock Recreational Trail is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Junction, Illinois that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
360 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

Rim Rock Trail leads around the rim of a rock escarpment before descending a crevice in the rock cliff to the valley floor while meandering through massive rock formations. A wonderfully scenic trail, Rim Rock National Recreation Trail leads around the rim of a rock escarpment, hence its name. Rim Rock has a long history of drawing people to its forested bluffs for hiking and picnicking. In 1980, it was designated a national recreation trail because of its exceptional scenic beauty and historic values. To early settlers this unique formation was known as 'the Pounds,' an old English term meaning "some sort of enclosure." This is how the valley lying to the east got its name, Pounds Hollow. A 7/8-mile trail leads the hiker around the top rim of the "Pounds," which is a circular 40-acre tract of land isolated from the surrounding terrain by steep sandstone bluffs.

hiking
26 days ago

Fun hike with a 7 year old in tow. Enjoyed the rock formations and ox-lot cave. Very relaxed and educational.

hiking
1 month ago

This was too cool. There was plenty to explore here, so many cool rock formations, while you're on the bottom floor you can't help but just stare up in awe. The long staircase through some narrow passages in the natural rock was awesome and if my current physical state would have allowed me to, I would have just kept going up and down that portion.

hiking
1 month ago

In the Shawnee National Forest is a rock escarpment known as Rim Rock. This park is just a few minutes drive from Garden of the Gods so plan to do this trail on the same day. The trail goes up over the hill along a paved flagstone trail and then dives down through the rocks where it passes through narrow slot canyons to the canyon below. the center of the trail is just an enjoyable walk in the woods with no scenery. But once you reach the northern part of the loop you'll see the steps leading down to narrow stone passages. Return to the top of the steps to follow a rock outcropping back along the western loop or descend tot he bottom of the passage until you reach the canyon floor where you can continue CW along massive cliffs back to the trailhead.

1 month ago

Grrrr! Rawr! Great place to sleep, throw rocks and stalk deer.

1 month ago

A trail with views. Not particularly difficult until the trek back up that involves many stairs but I was so distracted by the natural rock formations I barely noticed. Takes about an hour.

1 month ago

Nice quick little hike! Well marked trails with bluffs, slots to walk through in the bluffs and a creek. You can do the loop on the map, or continue on to pounds hollow (1/2 mile) by the creek. Shaded picnic benches are available.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was very easy to follow and the entire left wing was paved stone. After a weekend in the Shawnee, I would rank this area 3rd after Garden of the Gods and Little Grand Canyon. If you go to the Garden of the Gods, you must go down the road to this area. The area is covered with moss covered rocks and then you descend down the bluff cutting through wedges in the large rocks. We went on a wet weekend and the water was trickling from everywhere. Once down near the creek the trail splits. We thought that this was the junction of the middle and right side loop, but this is actually the right side loop and the trail that goes up to the lake and back. If you go up the lake trail about 1/4 mile you will find a small waterfall. The site map indicates that most people hike up to this waterfall and back out. From the trail head, the left and middle trails will both take you to the top of the stairs on the bluff, the right trail will take you to the bottom of the bluff.

2 months ago

incredible

hiking
3 months ago

We did this hike yesterday, starting at Rim Rock (we took the path to the far right (of the four options) and making our way to Pounds Hollow. We actually spent a little time at Pounds Hollow to take a break (up the bluff), then hiked back, where there is a small sign at the point of the three large bluff/ rock formation areas. We headed the opposite direction that we came from to ox-lot cave and wandered/ climbed around until we found a stone staircase. That led between the rock formations and toward a recently created or remodeled wooden staircase that takes you to the top of Ox-lot. We then took the upper trail back to the parking area. During our hike, we ended up with a distance of 4 miles and climbed the equivalent of 37 flights. It was an excellent time. Calling it a moderate hike/ trail is mostly accurate. I would say easy to moderate. I did take the time to climb up a few of the formations and experience different views. I would recommend it just to really take everything in. Recent rains meant the water was flowing nicely and there were very few people there, so you really got to hear the amazing, peaceful, serene sounds of nature!

SNF has done a wonderful job keeping this area up. The addition of walkways, benches, and bridges simplify the trail, but do not take away from the environment. Most is likely done as a protective feature for the natural areas and the hikers. This is a family friendly place. There were only 5 other families/ couples there when we left, only two others when we arrived.

5 months ago

Amazing rock formations

hiking
6 months ago

Kids all loved it, especially all the nooks and crannies of the rocks.

hiking
7 months ago

Enjoyed this trail and as others have said we too ended up in Pounds Hollow! There’s an open area where the very small sign is and we missed it. Not a big deal, we just walked back the same way. But it is an extra half mile each way to pounds hollow. The trail itself is pretty easy with some fairly good elevation changes.

I hiked this trail today. I did end up at Pounds Hollow, but I saw the sign and kept going. There is a sign. It's short, but it's there. I didn't take the street back. I simply went back the way I came, turned at the little sign and finished the trail back to my car. Really nice area.

hiking
8 months ago

I have hiked this trail twice and both times I ended up on Pounds Hollow Lake Road and had to hike the highway back to Rim Rock. There are no signs telling you which way to go on the trail. If you get to the beach area, you've gone too far. I love the trail, though. Very beautiful and peaceful. But now that I've found this website and have a map, I know where to go and am going to go back and walk the trail the right way!

9 months ago

Nice trail!

hiking
9 months ago

We were camping at nearby Pounds Hollow, which is a great rustic campground. We did this hike on a Sunday morning with some relatives that are pretty inexperienced. Everyone loved it. Make sure you take the steps down off the bluff that lead to Ox-Lot cave. Pretty amazing rock formations, especially for Illinois. In my opinion, this is more impressive than Giant City State Park. We could have spent a little more time exploring, but it only took a hour and a half to complete. If you are in the area it is well worth doing.

9 months ago

Great easy hike...lots of beautiful rocks and neat places to explore. We loved it!

hiking
10 months ago

Great rock formations and stone paved path. Very well kept and clean. A short low experience level hike, I had 2 pain in the ass girls with me and even they did fine.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail. The actual Rim Rock trail is paved the entire way, Which made it nice. There is some climbing and geological site seeing including the Ox-Lot cave. The hike is short, took about an hour, with lots of stops to site see, but didnt seem that long.

11 months ago

A must-see location along with Garden of the Gods.

hiking
Thursday, June 08, 2017

Not a long hike but a great place to see - lots of great rock formations

hiking
Friday, May 12, 2017

Pleasant Surprise! We saw a sign for Rim Rock as we left Garden of the Gods. Beautiful trail.

hiking
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

We really enjoyed this hike. Go down the stairs, that is where all the cool stuff is. Great rock formations and if you keep to the trail past the ox canyon, there is a swimming cove in a beautiful lake. I try to make it here every year.

hiking
Friday, April 14, 2017

Nice trail with a cool overlook. Rock canyons are very nice and similar but narrower than Giant City Trail. Took the additional walk over to Pound's Hollow Lake Beach which is really super nice. Skipped the middle trail. The sign in the parking lot only shows the left loop but both loops are a definite must do. The last part of the right loop is a long slow ascent without much flattening out. Gotta go back just to check out the middle loop. Bring water. It was in the high 70's and we drank quite a bit.

nature trips
Thursday, April 06, 2017

Nice, nothing spectacular. Shaded and cool. Enjoyed the short easy hike.

hiking
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Favorite trail in Giant City

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

For Illinois this is fantastic, even for other places this hike is still awesome. There are these giant rocks and these stone steps etched into them, but you can climb about them at different angles and there's different ledges. If you walk this trail you'll be satisfied with a good hike!

hiking
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stunning and perfect for the winter... There is no foliage hiding the rock formations

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Nice trail with really pretty scenery and super cool rock formations and caves. Took two kids ages 2 and 4 and they loved it. Perfect length for them.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Very good moderate hike. Cool rock formations, wildlife and vegetation. Can add hike over to Pounds Hollow lake (nice NPS run lake with swimming and fishing) for some added adventure. Doesn't get the visitors of near by Garden of the Gods and it's spectacular views, but Rim Rock offers a superior hike... But it shouldn't be either or, should be both!

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