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Salt Lick and Johnson Trail Loop

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Salt Lick Trails Nature Reserve

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.

Distance: 2.9 miles Elevation Gain: 452 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

historic site

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.

hiking
great!
2 days ago

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.

10 days ago

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

18 days ago

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!

hiking
24 days ago

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.

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

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

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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!

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.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

muddy
3 months ago

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.

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

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
5 months ago

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!

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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.

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.

6 months ago

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

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
6 months ago

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.

hiking
6 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

Love this trail. Very challenging in spots but super beautiful! My only complaint is the poor bathroom facilities....a very sad port a potty...

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