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River Bluff Trail Loop is a 2.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ottawa, Illinois that features a river 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.

Length 2.6 mi Elevation gain 72 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Historic site

Description
Waypoints (0)

NOTE: Hikers have reported that the trail leading to the bluff is closed. Please check with the park for more details.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (70)
Photos (165)
Recordings (56)
Completed (154)
Davey Herring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

All of the cool side trails were closed to the public so this was a flat, boring 2.4 mile loop.

View Davey's Recording
Ghanshyam Patel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
HikingNo shade
View Ghanshyam's Recording
James Neveau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 11 2020
Hiking

Several side trails near the river were closed, but it was still a pretty leisurely walk through scenic areas, with several good views of the river and a lot of prairie land. One thing to remember: it may not be the quietest hike ever, thanks to the nearby gun range, which was VERY active the day we were here.

View James's Recording
Allie Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 06 2020
HikingBugs
View Allie's Recording
Mike Zickus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu May 21 2020
Running

Nice little trail. I have been running lately and this was a perfect, slightly hilly trail. Total distance around the loop was about 2.1 miles so it is not super long and fairly mild. Nice gravel/grass trails and it does have a few “off the beaten path” type trails so if you are more adventurous they are available. Has a few nice look outs overlooking the river and was overall a nice trail. Lots of families and even a few moms with strollers so definitely an easier trail.

Margaret Lindauer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Feb 05 2020
Hiking

Can easily take your dog on these trails. Nice easy walk.

Hannah Bo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Nov 14 2019
HikingClosedIcySnow

Only went on half the trail because then main section is open for bow hunting and I decided I wasn’t going to chance it. Pretty good hike overall though

Robert Douglas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 12 2019
Hiking

Not all the pictures on this trail resemble the actual hile. The biggest let down to this and any trail is taking pictures in areas you're NOT ALLOWED IN. I'm disappointed due to where I thought I could go but can not!

Meng Wang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 12 2019
Hiking

Not too much scenery on the trail. Mostly flat.

View Meng's Recording
Nicolas Frank
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 06 2019
Hiking

All the cool parts are restricted. Be careful! Moderate dingus traffic on weekends.

View Nicolas's Recording
Doug Neidholdt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 06 2019
Hiking

Gravel path for the most part. Last short section closed, but the main trail is open. Well maintained. A few good views and has some large mounds.

Emmett LaBarron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Sep 18 2019
Hiking

A very pretty stroll through a wide and maintained path. They say the hills you pass are land sculptures of animals, but from the ground you cannot tell that they are anything (unfortunately). (P.S the poor buffalo needs some friends (she looked sad)).

View Emmett's Recording
Meredith Martin Olsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 18 2019
Hiking

Very easy trail. You could even run this is you wanted very wide paths. Great views of the river, if you wanna take your time and look at nice scenery.

View Meredith's Recording
Amanda M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 18 2019
HikingBugsMuddy
View Amanda's Recording
Rachel Travers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 26 2019
HikingClosedNo shade

Trail to bluff was closed, but not posted. Hike was easy, but no shade. Not worth it.

Jose Perovich Suarez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 08 2019
HikingPrivate property
View Jose's Recording
Gina I
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 07 2019
HikingNo shade

Trail would be a great running biking trail. Also good for hikes but there is no shade and the spot where you can hike out to see the bluffs and formations is closed. Maybe they’ll open again soon. See the real life Buffalo/bison at the end was really cool!

View Gina's Recording
David LoRen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 28 2019
Hiking

4-28

View David's Recording
Sherry VerWey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Nov 27 2018
Hiking

The trails are poorly marked, and as mentioned in other reviews the on-going sound of gunshots was really disconcerting, and distracting while walking. I also wish there was more information regarding the history of the buffalo that are kept there and how they're being taken care of? They just seemed kinda lonely.

Joseph Blewitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Sep 22 2018
Hiking

A quick jaunt through the prairie. If there were trails leading to the dramatic rocks pictured here, they were closed during my visit. I saw the buffalo pens, but they were devoid of buffalo. The effigies are unrecognizable.

Joanna Que-Ell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Aug 03 2018

Some pretty spots but not much of a hike. Very exposed and crowded on the weekend.

Schelle X
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 25 2018
Hiking

Rocks are beautiful! Go there for a sunset!

Jeana Logue
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Oct 12 2017

The trail is currently closed from the tornado damage that occurred earlier in the year, but the park is still open. I don't know when it will open, but look for Buffalo Rock State Park in the Region 2 - NE Illinois section. https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/closures/pages/CurrentclosuresOfDNRSitesAndAreas.aspx Edit: The trail is flat, easy to walk with your dog, and your walking on a wide path with tall grass on either side. The end is a drastic change and beautiful. I went when it was wet on a warm day in January. When it is more dry, it would be a better running trail than hike.

Jessica Dougherty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 31 2017

Boring and one trail closed. Buffalo were cool!

Roger Pavey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 05 2016
Hiking

A well maintained and clean park. The trails are not very challenging. There is apparently a firing range nearby as we heard consistent gunshots. Not really what we wanted to hear when hiking.

Brittany Kowalski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 10 2016
Hiking

Enjoyable and peaceful

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