Explore the most popular trails in Illinois with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.



dogs on leash

kid friendly



trail running

nature trips



wild flowers



mountain biking

road biking


cross country skiing

wheelchair friendly

horseback riding



no dogs

dog friendly

paddle sports




historic site

scenic driving


rails trails

city walk

rock climbing

Illinois Map
14 hours ago

It's a nice hike without a lot of hills. There are a few body's of water and I see tons of deer and coyotes. I don't know what that other person is talking about on pavement. There is no pavement.

1 day ago

Loved this trail! Difficult on the knees but definitely worth the trip. It had rained a lot the past few days so there was a lot of running water.

Fairly busy trail. Not a lot of privacy but it had beautiful sites of sandstone rock ledges surrounded in local history.

This is a great little trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall. I went a day after heavy rains and it seemed to be the right time to go.There are 2 ways to start this trail, there is a moderate trail head by the campsites and an easy trailhead by the picnic areas. Both leading to the same place. If you start from the Picnic areas it is graveled/ dirt path to the waterfall, pretty flat, but there are numerous trails that go up into the rocks and waterfalls along the way. the main trail I do not believe is 2 miles, but I did a little exploring on the extra paths which made it longer. Very doggo friendly,my doggo loved it. through out the park and other trails I went on, not many trail heads,but more then likely you will always find a good path that will lead the way.

1 day ago

Somewhere between walking and hiking, but it is a nice easy 3-4 mile loop with nice scenery. When we were there, there was a gathering of cranes on the lake, so that was pretty cool to see.

on Deer Run Trail Loop

1 day ago

Always a favorite. Go near dusk and you will likely see deer. Saw 6 today.

Good place to get away for an hour and stroll

Love these trails.

A pleasant trail that is wide with good footing. I think the Moderate rating must have more to do with length than difficulty. Will definitely do it again.

on Hawk's Cave Trail

2 days ago

More of a moderate Trail for us. Had several inclines and declines. Well kept Trail through forest and along rock bluffs to cave. Would definitely take again.

on Rebman Trail

2 days ago

Nice easy hike along bluffs. The trail is mostly flat. Two small waterfalls and a shallow stream when we were there. Will be back in June with our grandson.

2 days ago

Our group loved this hike. Very easy flat trail to a wonderful cave. The cave was much larger than expected. Gave this one a 3 star only because of the off the beaten path feel to it. There is no parking lot and no trail head to this one. You simply drive to the end of Sand Cave road and park in the grass next to the dirt road looking entrance to the hike. After you get on the trail it is very easy to follow. Once again a very enjoyable hike that not a lot of people visit so if you are looking for easy and remote this is the trail for you!

2 days ago

Giving this one a 4 star rating only because it is not 100% dog friendly. The falls were beautiful and the rock climbing to get up to the top at the end of the trail was a lot of fun and a big hit with everyone in our group. Except our poor dog who did not love being lifted over some of the rocks. The trail is well marked and easily accessible for dogs except for the last tenth of a mile which requires you to climb up a few rocks to get to the top of the falls and the parking lot. You could always turn back and walk back up the trail to the parking lot but the rocks were much shorter and a whole lot more entertaining. Well worth the drive out and such a fun hike to do. Recommend you be prepared to hike 2 miles or

Always a favorite of ours this is a most see if you are going to Shawnee. While a short very easy trail the real attraction is the rocks to climb all over. This trail is extremely popular and very busy so highly recommend getting there early if you want to take decent pictures of the place. Other than that even with the crowds everyone is spread out on the rocks so it isn't to crazy.

2 days ago

Beautiful trail with restaurants and bars lining the majority of the trail. A great place to appreciate the beautiful architecture that Chicago has to offer.

2 days ago

As previously mentioned in other comments this trail is basically an extended edition of the Rim Rock Trail. You start off from behind the beach house at Pounds lake and walk along to the end of the lake then through a canyon area until you hit in my opinion the best part of the hike which is the stairs up to the rock formations. I wish this part had been longer as the rest of the 3 mile hike is really just a nature walk. The rock formations really made this hike worthwhile for me. So if you are in it only for the rock formations then save yourselves 2 extra miles and do the Rim Rock trail instead. However if you have some extra time to your day the walk along the lake and through the canyon was very pretty, scenic, and an easy stroll. Would not rate this trail as "Hard" by any means.

Let me start off by making it clear that the trail culture is very sub par. We encountered many groups of people blasting their music through super loud speakers. There was also a good amount of engravings on the rocks. Not to mention, there was trash all over the river walk. The combination of these things really hindered our experience. Despite all of this, the canyons/waterfalls looked quite nice from afar, and the hikes there were pleasant. The best canyons in our opinion were Kaskaskia and Ottawa. Get there early to avoid the crowds. 6/10

3 days ago

A really nice trail. Not overly groomed, not overly grown. We noticed a lack of wildlife. We only saw a few birds. The terrain was very visually interesting & will be even more so in the weeks to come as spring is quite late in 2018. The family enjoyed this trail & look forward to going back.

Love this place! They have a little of everything, disc golf, volleyball, fishing!
Great place for getting kids outdoors.

Best trail that we have hiked in the Shawnee. It was challenging at times and the views were rewarding!

It was nice. We drove almost 2 hours to get here after wanting to go for a few months. The scenery was breathtaking, especially since Chicago is almost completely flat! The only problem that I encountered was that the trail was so built up. Most of it was either wood or concrete and it made the experience feel very superficial, especially walking past women in dresses wanting to take pictures. The waterfalls and canyons were really something incredible though, and we were even able to climb them (without harnesses; please don’t try if you aren’t familiar or comfortable with the rocks). Overall, it was a great place to go for a day and I’d love to visit again. We got a brochure with a map from the building after the parking lot and outlined exactly where we wanted to go, so I suggest you do that too. Have a great hike!

Good hike anywhere, incredible hike for Illinois... some nice views, gets your heart pumping with some stairs, great for birding, I’m not really into birding per say but I saw tons of small birds, a hawk, an owl and lots more on the river, la salle canyon is the best part

4 days ago

Pleasantly surprised with this trail. Moderately challenging with many ascents, descents and creek crossings through a beautiful section of deciduous forest. The trail is about 11 Miles with many offshoots if you want you explore more. The backpacking trail is marked with red arrows, paint on trees and red banners around trees. It is fairly well marked but I did have to stop and reference my map and compass one time. There are two areas to camp. I hiked 8 Miles to east camp and finished the final 3 Miles in the morning; it worked out very well.

There is a $10 fee and registration is due 1 week prior to hiking. Make sure to visit the website and plan ahead. I went during mid April so there was barely any traffic and it was still cold at night. I assume traffic picks up in May and June and may not be as enjoyable (I prefer solitude in the outdoors). You could hike the trail in one day but it makes for a nice little overnight trip.

Whitetail and wild turkey were plentiful.

Took my 5 year old on it today, and she didn’t want to leave. She said she wanted to do it 10 more times.

5 days ago

Close and convenient. Multiple course options

Went for a quick hike with my dog, and it was muddy, but gorgeous. This trail is a little hidden gem, and was quite enjoyable. Took about 50 minutes to hike the entire thing. Trails are very clearly marked and well maintained. Great view of a lot of waterfowl.

This trail offers so many options & side trails you’ll never get bored. Cool gullys & creeks.

trail running
6 days ago

I have ran this trail twice. What’s nice is Salt Lick trail hooks up on the way back. Has some pretty cool views from the bluffs! Closest trails worth running for me.

This is one of my many favorite trails. I have walked it in all seasons and there is always something breathtaking about the scenery, even in the winter. When the leaves have fallen, I see more of the bluffs. I walked it today and things are budding and there are no flying bugs or spider webs in my face because it's so early in the year. I look forward to seeing it again all blossomed out.

Very well kept, moderate hills to get your heart pumping along with great lookouts!

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