Rocky Bluff Trail

EASY 54 reviews
#6 of 21 trails in

Rocky Bluff Trail is a 1.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Carbondale, 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.

1.7 miles
157 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running







wild flowers


15 days ago

It's a nice, easy stroll. The bluffs are all at one end of the trail so depending on the direction you go, you're either waiting to see bluffs or wondering if you'll see any more bluffs.

Great trail. Make sure you get a permit from the Crab Orchard visitor's center.

1 month ago

Really enjoyed the trail. Beautiful

3 months ago

Nice trail that is very well marked. A lot of the trail is just walking through the woods but when you reach the bluffs they are pretty impressive. The sandstone rock bluffs have very unique patterns in them. The waterfall was dry but pretty and I'm sure would be impressive as well if caught after a good rain.

5 months ago

It's a nice trail. I would consider it more of a moderate trail rather than easy.

5 months ago

9/21/2017. In places the trail wasn't cleared very well. The creek was nasty no lake where they got bluff have no idea . Just not interesting.

6 months ago

Easy enjoyable hike with pretty waterfall if you catch it after a good rainfall.

6 months ago


6 months ago

This is a fun trail and Kid friendly - to an extent. It is NOT stroller friendly. There were many times we had to pick up the stroller and carry it over rocky, narrow areas of the trail.

8 months ago

I hiked this a few days ago with my wife and 2 children (5 and 7). We were the first ones on the trail at 10:30 AM based on all the spider webs we walked through. The first 2/3 of the trail is all trees and forest. The last third is some pretty impressive rocky bluffs, as the name says. The kids were bored until we got to the rocks, then they loved it. The waterfall was dry, but it looks like it would be impressive after a rain. The trail was maintained well enough for us. You could tell they cut the weeds through some of the denser parts. Don't forget insect repellent, we needed it.

8 months ago

Both waterfalls were dry when we went in May. But beautiful hike and not too long.

9 months ago

This is a nice, out of the way trail. It's an easy to moderate hike. It Has some nice rocks to climb on, some stairs and bridges and Lots of overgrown, tall grassy paths. Others have said it's easy to get turned around but we found site maps in place and fairly easy to read. We ended up with quite a few ticks on us, so be prepared for that! I would recommend going, but make sure you have long pants and long sleeves, and bug spray!

9 months ago

While elevation change makes this a technically easy trail, it's definitely not for novices. it would be quite easy to get a bit turned around since parts of the path are filled in with vegetation or narrow down to nothing and the fact that two paths merge. quite beautiful at points, but a bit frightening if you have a dog that likes to pull at other points. it's a good trail if you can find your way, it just could use some tlc

9 months ago

A nice little hike with waterfall, walk along a stream, bluff, and through wilderness. Turn things over to see salamanders. Also saw several snakes and frogs. Great trail for families with young kids as the length and difficulty is just right. I would rate this a moderate not easy trail.

10 months ago

Very well maintained trail. Went with my kids, 5 & 2 years old and they were able to do the hike no problem. Lots of water features, rocks and bridges that kept them entertained.

10 months ago

Great little trail. Amazing rock formations, views of Grassy Creek and two waterfalls. Easy well maintained trails. Great wildflowers on the lower trail.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I was surprised when I arrived and there was a sign that said Vehicle Decal Required. It's only $2/day, but you have to buy it 10 miles away at Crab Orchard Nat. Refuge on IL HWY 148.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fun trail for the family with only a couple slippery spots.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

great trail but you do need a sticker for crab orchid

Monday, September 05, 2016

Great trail! was well defined

Friday, September 02, 2016

Great little trail, the only portion that was overgrown was the shortcut trail. The main loop was well cleared.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Very scenic, but overgrown, hope you aren't allergic to poison ivy!

Monday, May 02, 2016

My 7 year old and I enjoy this trail! Also trail run it sometimes and can connect to the wild turkey trail to add some distance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The trail is a bit unkept. I would not recommend this trail if you have small children that are going to accompany you. Especially if you are going to walk the trail backwards (This was something my friend and I did) We ended up accidentally leaving the trail and following a (what we thought was a trail) but only ended up being a little road way that authorized vehicles where allowed on.
Besides that whole getting lost thing, I have to say it was a really fun trail. I would recumbent this trail to experienced hikers! Bring a bottle of water with you!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Love this trail. One of my first trails and waterfalls. I fell in love and go back every chance I get. Trail fairly easy and quick. Some steep terrain but nothing too difficult for most.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Good hike. Nice view every step

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Great little trail, Just my wife's style, not steep easy grade changes and a couple benches to relax on and small bridges. Take the kids trail.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Good stuff. A little steep here and there but nothing too bad

Friday, April 19, 2013

Construction has been completed on this trail. Very nice boardwalks and stairs. Trails are clear. Great area for taking a walk or trail running.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I liked the trail, it is currently under construction though, so the mileage is a bit off. I'm sure they will update the maps and re calculate the mileage when finished.

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