Rim Rock Recreational Trail

MODERATE 119 reviews
#2 of 19 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
5 days ago

This was during the shutdown and gates closed. Only adds 4/10’s of a mile to the hike. Took the upper left trail and came back up the lower right side. Don’t pass this one up if visiting Garden of the Gods!

hiking
2 months ago

We started the trail clockwise. It is a easy hike on a stone paved walkway for a little bit then you will see the stairs to go down and squeeze thru the rock formations..then the trail is a dirt path which had a little mud because it had rained the day before. But not too bad at all! Loved to see the huge rock cliffs beside us as we hiked. It’s a easy peaceful hike only saw one other person so not too crowded!

2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Easy hike , enjoyed the colors of fall

2 months ago

Trailer was enjoyable

2 months ago

loved the view of the lake if you take the straight bit off the loop and then double back. rock formations were awesome. go in fall when the trees are in color - it's breathtaking!

2 months ago

Beautiful! Recommend taking the outer trail, definitely worth it and fun to explore.

3 months ago

Great trail! Beginning half of trail is on a man made rock path. Very easy to navigate. Then trail continues into rock formations producing fantastic views. Second half of loop is on an incline. Nothing too difficult. Wish trail were longer!

hiking
4 months ago

A good one in Shawnee, great rock formation!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Defintely do this one, you can also hike over to Pounds Hollow from this trail.

5 months ago

another stunning park!. Shawnee national forest ceases to amaze me.

hiking
5 months ago

Definitely making another trip back!!! We could spend all day here and still not see everything!! We loved it! Nice trails and beautiful rock formations! We will definitely go back soon!

hiking
5 months ago

Path is well maintained around top loop, and is what you would expect from an easy walk in the woods. When you reach the staircase that takes you down to the ox-lot cave the landscape drastically changes. There are extraordinary rock formations, sheer cliffs, and exciting small caves. You could spend an hour in this area alone exploring all the rock formations. Overall the loop took us 1.5 hours with lots of exploring.

5 months ago

Very cool hike, learned a thing or two from the signs too.

6 months ago

cool rock formations

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
8 months 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
8 months 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.

8 months ago

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

8 months 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.

8 months 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
9 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.

9 months ago

incredible

hiking
10 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.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Amazing rock formations

hiking
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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
Sunday, October 15, 2017

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!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Nice trail!

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