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Salt Lick and Johnson Trail Loop is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Valmeyer, Illinois that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 2.9 mi Elevation gain 452 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Running

Cave

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Historic site

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve is a 600+ acre site owned by the Village of Valmeyer. The reserve protects fluff land forests, which provide a critical habitat for unique hill prairies and glades. Beginning at the kiosk in the parking lot, the Salt Lick Point Trail rises rapidly up the bluffs. The trail becomes less strenuous and levels off at times until it reaches Salt Lick Point, the highest point in Monroe County, IL,descends onto Limestone Lane, which you follow back to the parking area.

Large parking area near the intersection of Bluff Road and Limestone Lane. One porta-potty near the Salt Lick Point Trailhead.

E-mail saltlick@htc.net or call the Valmeyer Village Hall at (618)935-2131.

From Route 3 in Waterloo, IL, take Highway 156 west, to original Valmeyer, turn north on Bluff Road. Proceed the short distance to the Rock City complex sign and turn east on Limestone Lane. The parking area is on the left.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (474)
Photos (931)
Recordings (375)
Completed (769)
Marc Barrett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

I did not do the whole Salt Lick loop. I took the left side of salt lick up to the scenic views, followed a different trail north a bit, then came back down a different trail. Ended up being right at 3 miles total. Got some beautiful views from on top of the ridge and great views of the ridge from below on the way back. Great elevation change until you head down the ridge, and then it flattened out. Trail was well marked and easy to follow. Pay attention to signage at the trail head showing the three different trails in the area. You could easily make several different loops if you wanted to. Parking lot had maybe 5 cars in it at 9:30 am, and I saw 4 groups on the trail.

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Doug Neidholdt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 06 2020
HikingGreat!

NIce loop, great views, varied scenery. Worth the side trip to do it. Salt Lick and Johnson Trail is a 2.9 mile loop located in the Salt Lick Point Nature Reserve near Valmeyer, Illinois. Best hiked counterclockwise. The trail quickly climbs the bluff and follows it north offering numerous overlooks of the river valley to the west. At the 1/2 way point the trail descends to the river bottoms and follows the base of the bluff back to the trail head offering yet more scenic areas of large boulders and river wooded lowlands.

Jacob Rozner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020

I almost passed out in the 90°+ weather trying to climb up to the cliff it's really tough but once you get to the top it's crazy

kelly r.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 20 2020

after doing the short salt lick loop a couple weeks ago my kids wanted to come back to try the first part with the johnson trail. Take the upward salt lick side first to get the hard stuff out of way then turn to the johnson trail. the scenic view off of johnson trail is amazing. be careful with little ones at the scenic outlook and hold their hand...stay sway from edge!!!!! on the salt lick trail upward we had shade and a nice breese. on the johnson trail on the way back it was flat and was surprisingly shady and very cool today. 3 miles completed in about 1 hour and 45 minutes with a 5 year old and 9 year old with a couple quick stops for snacks. a very nice salt lick volunteer in a marked car was on site when we arrived at 8 am as the first car. he was very friendly. he was not there when we returned from our hike at 10 am..my 9 year old had a question she wanted to ask him :) popular trail...saw people at various times but was still secluded enough of a feeling. kids love hiking!

Dan Williamson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

Nice trail with steep inlines to start but levels out. May be challenging when wet but was a dry day when I hiked it. Great views when up near top of bluffs. Imagine the views a little better in the fall. Some steep declines as you are coming down the hill. Ends with about a mile of flat walking at the bottom of bluffs in shade. I found two tics and I had treated shoes socks and legs with permethrin bug spray.

Blackpeoplewhohike .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 09 2020
Hiking

Went late at 645pm. Bugs weren’t bad and not too overgrown. Didn’t see any ticks. Didn’t even had bug spray on and was ok. Watched the sun start to set. It was beautiful. If you go right on the trail to start it is about 1.2 miles I’m to get to the bluff. Say a baby raccoon and a frog. Only saw 3 sets of couples on the trails too

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Michelle Benedict
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 03 2020
Hiking

Nice, short trail with a beautiful lookout that is a great challenge!

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Kristi Serra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
HikingMuddy
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B Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 30 2020
HikingMuddy
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Kristy Herman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 09 2020
Hiking

Challenging enough inclines to get a good workout but not intimidating. A few well maintained trail options, with beautiful scenery. Could be difficult in wet conditions. Picnic tables but no toilets or sinks. Dog friendly.

Mike Reime
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 09 2020
Hiking

Great day for a hike! Started early (8:00), only one other car in the lot. Hills empty. Beautiful views.

Michelle Crotty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 18 2020
Hiking

Very nice trail but fairly crowded on a saturday afternoon. This trail is very dog friendly and all dog owners were respectful to other hikers. We did the Johnson trail part 1st and it was low, flat, and easy with lots of rocks to climb on. There was a steep incline to the Salt Lick trail but there was a bench midway for hikers to rest. The view at the top was worth the climb and we took lots of pictures. This is a great trail and we will be back!

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Allison Barnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 11 2020
Hiking

The trail was great, nice and dry. There were no muddy spots, but definitely more people than normal. It only took us an hour and 15 minutes to do this loop. Dogs are allowed.

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Courtney Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 06 2020
HikingRocky

Great workout. Start off steep incline and then ends with Johnson’s trail that is flat and a nice recovery. Beautiful flowers in bloom now. Go early and no one on trail.

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Donisha Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 05 2020
Hiking

Me & my kiddos loved this trail. We went Friday 4/3/20. Created a scavenger hunt to keep them interested & they can’t wait to hike again! Lots of trees and flowers in bloom, trails were easy to follow & scenery from the overlooks were beautiful.

William Kubik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 29 2020
Muddy

I went the day after it rained. A little muddy but not bad to my surprise. Overlook had a great view and a flat area to sit. Lots of people, probably due to the Covid-19.

Curt Crossley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020
Hiking

41-47 degrees. With 30lb packs Tom Curtis grace and dad.

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ken bossung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 01 2020
Hiking

Our first time on this trail. We had fun doing the scenic route on top of the bluff and then coming back to the parking area using the beneath the bluffs part of the trail. We went counter clockwise. Only bad part was losing a key fob somewhere on the trail. Otherwise the views were great and the trail was well maintained. Highly recommend this trail for everyone if the weather is dry.

Ronda Schlimme
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 01 2020
Hiking

Yesterday was my 3rd time hiking this trail. In the fall, it’s beautiful when the leaves are changing; in the spring it’s beautiful when the wildflowers are blooming. Due to recent rains, the trail was muddy in places which made climbing the inclines tougher than usual. The inclines are tough to begin with, but the mud made it tougher. The area is well maintained and blazes have been recently updated.

Mandi Gummels
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 01 2020
Hiking

I'm sure it's my error, but I followed the signs yet somehow came out a different trailhead a quarter mile down the main road from where I was supposed to come out. I didn't realize I had gone astray until I came out and looked at the map. I should have kept a closer eye on the map, I guess. There was a couple behind me walking down the main road who looked like they made the same mistake, so beware. Keep an eye on your map. I also give this 4 stars because large parts of this trail are ridiculously steep. It was muddy and very slippery today. I wish there were some switchbacks. But overall this is a tough hike with some really nice views. You can see the Jefferson Barracks bridge and downtown from the lookout point.

Lori Bunting
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 02 2020
Hiking

well marked rigorous trail with lots to see. we usually go clockwise but tried counter clockwise and the first half mile was tough! great workout!

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James M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jan 05 2020
HikingRocky
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Russell Creed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 01 2020
Hiking

Fun hike. Moderately challenging hike to top of the bluff, but once at the top the views are stunning. Standing bluff side, you can see the patchwork of farming fields that make up the Mississippi Flood Plain. Beautiful vistas. We saw a soaring bald eagle while on our hike. Trails are well maintained.

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Bryan Jacob
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jan 01 2020
Hiking

A beautiful New Years Day hike! This is my favorite local hike and others thought the same as it was a bit crowded. There were 36 cars in the parking lot. That’s way more than the dozen or so I’ve ever seen on a nice weekend. The hikers were all happy and several groups of families started the year off in nature. I saw an eagle at the overlook as I was meditating. Great experience.

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Brittani Ratliff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 24 2019

amazing trail. a little tough to climb for kiddos but the views are great!

camille mccue
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 22 2019
HikingIcyMuddySnow

hit both the salt lick and the Newman (I think) trail. beautiful. I mean there is snow and if you take the branch over for Newman the only way you see a good position of trail is animal print but man is it beautiful out there. worth the drive.

Amy Wood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 21 2019
Hiking

Snow on the ground, beautiful scene. Great hike, and the drive there along Bluff Rd is also a pleasure. This is a trail I repeat. It can be a work out, and it is majestic.

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Kathy Schmeltz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Nov 24 2019
Hiking

Second visit. Just as beautiful in the fall! Trail was a bit muddy. Scenic, challenging but fun!!!

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