Rim Rock Recreational Trail

MODERATE 181 reviews
#2 of 22 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

bugs

rocky

scramble

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
2 months ago

Easy trail. Half way thru many stairs down to the Rim Rock which is somewhat narrow but not too much. Could be very slick if wet. Coming back takes some effort if you opt not to take the loo around. You can also take this to Pound Hollow.

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely and easy enough for this 70 year old nana.

hiking
3 months ago

One of our favorites in southern Illinois. Well maintained.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Sooo many horse flies! They follow you no matter how much bug spray you put on. Other than that I loved it. It’s hard to complain about bugs when you are outside but it was really A LOT of them. They are knocking on your car windows as soon as you pull in haha. (Not exaggerating). We took a wrong turn and ended up at pounds hollow...i did not see any signs to let me know we were leaving rim rock trail so that upset me. That connecting trail was super overgrown as well (should have been a clue we weren’t on rim rock trail anymore but we have never been here so didn’t know). That lake was full of more flies but also lots of cute butterflies! Other than those annoying huge flies..it’s a pretty trail.

Nice trail through a peaceful forest, with the creek and slot canyon as a great bonus!

hiking
3 months ago

I went for the first time last week and loved it! Lots of steps/stairs but definitely worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail with great views and cool rock formations. There is also a nice connecting trail to the East that brings you to Pounds Hollow beach at a small lake. There are a few cross crossing trails which can be confusing at times.

hiking
3 months ago

Dog friendly hike through giant boulders and skinny walkways. Beautiful, my favorite on the area!

hiking
3 months ago

Great Trail! Here's an article about the hike from my Blog. https://chrisbunton.blogspot.com/2017/05/rim-rock-and-pounds-hollow.html

hiking
4 months ago

Not much in way of views but does have some things of interest; a cave, stone wall and other features. was nicely shaded.

hiking
off trail
rocky
4 months ago

Love beautiful one of the best hikes ever!!!

hiking
over grown
4 months ago

Amazing trail. Beautiful area. My favorite so far. Pretty easy. A lot of up trails.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail! We braved it with 3 kids too in the rain but it made it cooler and made it fun. Two children were 4 and needed to hold hands on steps and around big rocks but otherwise was great for kids! We made sure to educate about staying on the trail and not running especially near bluffs. The two year old was strap in a carrier on my back and made it much easier to keep my hands free for the older ones. Ox-lot cave was a great educational experience as well!

hiking
5 months ago

GREAT HIKE

this is an amazing trail. I am pretty new to this nature stuff being a Chicago chick. I am in love with all of it. I'm a big lady and this hike was pretty much my workout for the day...lol we love being alone in nature and reconnecting with the aesthetics and the energy consumes me. beautiful day for this hike. my hubby even went inside a cave .

hiking
6 months ago

Great short trail. Very scenic as it is but lots of great bluffs to explore. If you go to Garden of the Gods, don’t miss this one; 10 minutes away.

hiking
6 months ago

This was a nice trail. Shaded mostly. Some cool looking rock and bluffs. You can take it all the way to Pounds Hollow! Some stairs. Do this Trail after Garden of the Gods...need tick and mosquito repellent! You can return the same way you came or take the road two miles back to Rim Rock Trailhead.

hiking
6 months ago

Really pretty. The Ox-lot Cave was so fun to walk around in. This trail is good for kids and families. It was mainly paved the whole way and it really wasn't that difficult. It got a little muddy down in the cave.

hiking
6 months ago

The loop is quick but packed with interesting rock formations, vegetation, and quite a dramatic descent through towering rock slabs to the forest floor. It's an easy hike, with little elevation gain. At the back of the loop, there is a junction with Pounds Hollow trail, and were you to leave the loop and follow this trail you will end up at a freshwater lake and beach/recreational area known as Pounds Hollow lake. An excellent way to extend the trail, a good place to have lunch, and you can return via the other half of the Rim Rock loop.

6 months ago

Great trail, just want to point out something that I didn't see anyone else saying. The inner loop on top of the bluffs is all paved with stone and fairly easy (although slick when wet). The east half of outer loop (or Beaver Trail), which seems to be the side people generally take, is well maintained and easy to follow, just look out for the sign to Pounds Hollow and stay towards the bluffs if wish to stay on the loop. The west half is a completely different animal: overgrown, unmarked, blow downs everywhere. I had to cross the creek and then immediately cross back over shortly after the stairway from the Rim Rock trail. After that, I more or less just stayed between the creek and the bluffs to make it back to the parking area. This involved several rock scrambles up against the bluffs (may have been able to avoid by more bushwhacking, but the scrambles are pretty fun). Just wanted to emphasize how much rougher that leg of the trail is compared to the other 3 legs.

7 months ago

Has a little bit of everything, Forest, wildflower, cliffs, “weeping rocks” and a little creek. We took the paved interpretive trail clockwise then about midpoint took the steep narrow rock stairs down to the creek level. It is beautiful lush, covered in green fern, moss and water. Then followed Beaver Trail along the floor with views of the rock bluffs to the right the rest of the way. Lovely short hike. Took less than an hour with many stops along the way to take in the views, listen to the birds and brook.

hiking
7 months ago

Really enjoyed the trail. Hiked both loops and enjoyed both.

hiking
7 months ago

Starts out easy with a wide flat trail then with signs explaining the history. Then it continues along steep bluffs and descends into a spooky crevasse with stairs, a narrow passageway to a translucent pond near Ox Lot Cave. We took the Interpretive trail. Spring is beautiful with wildflowers and water flowing.

hiking
7 months ago

It was a return hike for me. Brought family. Just a great special scenic area.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail. Good spots for the dogs to swim and the trail was easy to navigate.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Good hike with lots of big bluffs

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

10 months ago

Awesome little hidden gem, history was very interesting and Gorgeous views! I would come back every day if I could.

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