Jackson Falls Trail

MODERATE 56 reviews
#5 of 20 trails in

Jackson Falls Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near McCormick, Illinois that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.8 miles
711 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly




nature trips

rock climbing


horseback riding





wild flowers




Jackson Falls trail follows the top of the bluff (southeast) around to the "dog leg" where you can walk into the canyon. Rock Climbing and Bouldering are favorite activities. Rock climbing and bouldering between three water falls.

6 days ago

9 days ago

Excellent place to go hiking and get away from everything

14 days ago

trail running
30 days ago

1 month ago

For a southern Illinois park, It was clean. Fairly maintained and relatively busy. Visit after or during a good rain and enjoy the waterfall, otherwise there isn't one. Some regular trails some equestrian and some combination of both. Nice rock formations which brings rock climbers from around the area. Moderate hiking fairly well marked. Parts kid friendly....parts not....over all pretty nice.

1 month ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

Paths weren't labeled at all. You could easily get lost.

3 months ago

beautiful hike steep hill but its paved. worth the trip from nashville

3 months ago

4 months ago

I usually walk through the campgrounds and sit by waterfall. I've seen numerous people jump off this waterfall or rock climb down. Wouldn't do that personally but to each their own.

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

all the reviews before me explains it all. Great place

4 months ago

This trail was fantastic. Lots of great view from the bluff and even better once you get below. Spent many hours here so that I could figure out exactly how the trail works. If you’re into climbing this is the place for you as well. Every boulder I saw had either bolts for top rope climbing or bolts up the face.

I read a few AllTrails reviews of people getting lost so I wanted to figure it out for myself. Conclusions are as follows:

Basically the "Jackson Falls" trail is a big U shape going along the top of the bluffs listed as trail #048 and there is an equestrian trail #049 that follows the inside of the U from below. I believe the 5.8 listed probably refers to completing the entire U. Coming from the parking lot you quickly arrive at the first waterfall. From there you can either continue to the right (which I'm sure many do based on how it is marked on AllTrails) or you could cross the creek and continue left. There are ways down on both tips of the U regardless of which route you choose but the trail ends more abruptly and has a clearer descent location than if you were to go to the right (if you go to the right I would suggest starting to look for a descent shortly after you begin seeing the railroad tracks). Both tips of the U are approximately 1.1 or 1.2 from the first waterfall.

The cooler part of the trek is when you descend and begin hiking #049. It was surreal to be hiking next to everything that I had just been admiring from above. The trail follows the bluffs around to the railroad tracks that you would see towards the end of your trek had you taken a right at the beginning. You can follow the tracks for a couple hundred yards and begin looking for your way back up to #48 when you come across a large rock with some spray paint on it. There are a few different places to scale back up in the area, some more difficult than others.

All in all I thought this was one of the better treks in Shawnee. I felt like every single time I came around a corner there was another impressive view. Please let me know if this helped you navigate! Cheers!

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago