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Best trails in Carbondale

441 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Carbondale, Illinois? AllTrails has 13 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Giant City State Park or Ferne Clyffe State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Piney Creek Ravine or Heron Pond Preserve. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 11 easy trails in Carbondale ranging from 0.6 to 2 miles and from 400 to 574 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Carbondale
Top trails (13)
#1 - Rocky Bluff Trail
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(209)
Length: 1.7 mi • Est. 47 m
A permit is required to access this trail. There is a $2 day use fee to hike the trails or use the water at the refuge.Show more
#2 - Crab Orchard Visitors Station Loop
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(50)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 25 m
here is a $2 day use fee to hike the trails or use the water at the refuge.Show more
#3 - Campus Lake Trail
Carbondale, Illinois
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(50)
Length: 2 mi • Est. 50 m
Note: this trail is on a campus and as of August 2020 non-college associates cannot access this trail before 4PM due to COVID19. Show more
#4 - Cedar Lake Trail
Carbondale, Illinois
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(28)
Length: 2.9 mi • Est. 1 h 24 m
#5 - Herbie Beyler Trail
Brush Hill Nature Preserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(11)
Length: 0.6 mi • Est. 17 m
Green Earth offers hiking and outdoor recreation at six sites across Carbondale, IL. All properties are open to the public during daylight hours. This preserve was the first of the Green Earth's properties. It is located in eastern Carbondale at the top of the hill on Park Street, about halfway between Wall and Giant City Road. The parking for this site is just west of the Carbondale Township Fire Dept. ​ Brush Hill is approximately 20 acres of forested hills. The .6 mile trail loop is named after one of the founding members of Green Earth, Herbie Beyler. This trail is moderately difficult because of elevation changes. The full trail passes through many different habitats, including an old clearing, an upland forest, a lowland forest, a seasonal pond, and a coal pit excavated by early settlers. The derecho storm that swept through the Carbondale area during May 2009 permanently changed the face of this woodland. What was a mature forest with closed canopy structure was set back successionally to nearly open field conditions. The oaks, hickories, and walnuts that dominated much of the west facing slope are gone. Sapling trees will now have to compete with shrub species for sunlight and other resources. The hiking trail that was closed for months following the derecho was opened thanks to the hard work of volunteers Keith and Mark Beyler. Since the trail's reopening, several sections have been re-routed to deal with downed trees and long standing erosion problems. The lower, wetter sections of the trail can still be problematic after rain, but Green Earth constructed gravel turnpikes, greatly improving the footing. Major improvements have been made over the past few years and will continue with the help of our fantastic volunteer labor force. Please visit http://www.greenearthinc.org/ for more information.Show more
#6 - David Kenney Trail
Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(15)
Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 44 m
Green Earth offers hiking and outdoor recreation at six sites across Carbondale, IL. All properties are open to the public during daylight hours. Green Earth's Chautauqua Bottoms is located on the north side of Chautauqua Road, between Emerald Lane and Tower Road. Historically this area was bottomland hardwood forest. The soils at this site are representative of wetlands, and indeed, the grounds are wet throughout the rainy season. This site possesses tall grass prairie, upland forest, bottomland hardwood, and a bottomland hardwood restoration area planted in 2005. This 37 acre preserve has four trail heads: the first is accessed from a well-marked parking area located off of Chautauqua Road, the second is located at the western terminus of Freeman Street, the third is located just west of the Flagland site off of Sunset Road (along the east edge of the Carbondale Park District Soccer Fields), and the fourth is at the south end of this trail where it meets Chautauqua Road. The intensity level of each of the trails is light, unless one wishes to cross Little Crab Orchard Creek to successfully loop the trail system. The creek crossing is very steep and should only be attempted when the creek level is low. The David Kenney Trail (named for former Green Earth Board Member, former Green Earth President, and former Director of the Illinois Department of Conservation, D. Kenney) travels along the west bank of Little Crab Orchard Creek from Chautauqua Road to Sunset Road. The trail is approximately 1.0 mile in length and provides beautiful views of the creek and its cliff banks. Show more
#7 - Maurice Webb Trail
Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(11)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 17 m
Green Earth offers hiking and outdoor recreation at six sites across Carbondale, IL. All properties are open to the public during daylight hours. Green Earth's Chautauqua Bottoms is located on the north side of Chautauqua Road, between Emerald Lane and Tower Road. Historically this area was bottomland hardwood forest. The soils at this site are representative of wetlands, and indeed, the grounds are wet throughout the rainy season. This site possesses tall grass prairie, upland forest, bottomland hardwood, and a bottomland hardwood restoration area planted in 2005. This 37 acre preserve has four trail heads: the first is accessed from a well-marked parking area located off of Chautauqua Road, the second is located at the western terminus of Freeman Street, the third is located just west of the Flagland site off of Sunset Road (along the east edge of the Carbondale Park District Soccer Fields), and the fourth is at the south end of this trail where it meets Chautauqua Road. The intensity level of each of the trails is light, unless one wishes to cross Little Crab Orchard Creek to successfully loop the trail system. The creek crossing is very steep and should only be attempted when the creek level is low. The Maurice Webb Trail (named after former Green Earth Board Member and President, M. Webb) meanders through a tall grass prairie, a riparian woodland, and the reforestation area, looping back to the trail head and parking area off of Chautauqua Road. The trail is approximately .7 miles in length and forks to intersect with the Woodland Spur Trail to the north. Trail Adopters: Ken Mayberry Exciting changes are coming to the Chautauqua Bottoms! See the organization's website to keep updated with the improvements to this location. Please visit http://www.greenearthinc.org/ for more information.Show more
#8 - Fernlands Preserve Trail
Fernlands Nature Preserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(14)
Length: 0.9 mi • Est. 23 m
Green Earth offers hiking and outdoor recreation at six sites across Carbondale, IL. All properties are open to the public during daylight hours. East of Kennedy Road (off of Union Hill Road), this 20 acre forested preserve houses beautifully clear streams flowing between steep banks that are densely covered with mosses. The moist nature of this environment supports many ferns and a broad array of spring woodland wildflowers. An established trail will guide you through three different areas of this forest preserve. The 1.0 mile trail is moderate in intensity. The trailhead leads you into the preserve, wherein it will split into two separate areas. Continuing on the trail to the left will lead you in a loop up and around the hills, and continuing on the trail to the right will lead you on an out-and-back trail along the banks of the stream. This site can be difficult to find, look for a Green Earth sign on the east side of Kennedy Road. Look for the small parking lot on top of the hill's crest. Trail Adopter: Nathan Speagle Please visit http://www.greenearthinc.org/ for more information.Show more
#9 - Woodland Spur Trail
Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(13)
Length: 0.9 mi • Est. 22 m
Green Earth offers hiking and outdoor recreation at six sites across Carbondale, IL. All properties are open to the public during daylight hours. Green Earth's Chautauqua Bottoms is located on the north side of Chautauqua Road, between Emerald Lane and Tower Road. Historically this area was bottomland hardwood forest. The soils at this site are representative of wetlands, and indeed, the grounds are wet throughout the rainy season. This site possesses tall grass prairie, upland forest, bottomland hardwood, and a bottomland hardwood restoration area planted in 2005. This 37 acre preserve has four trail heads: the first is accessed from of a well-marked parking area located off of Chautauqua Road, the second is located at the western terminus of Freeman Street, the third is located just west of the Flagland site off of Sunset Road (along the east edge of the Carbondale Park District Soccer Fields), and the fourth is at the south end of this trail where it meets Chautauqua Road. The intensity level of each of the trails is light, unless one wishes to cross Little Crab Orchard Creek to successfully loop the trail system. The creek crossing is very steep and should only be attempted when the creek level is low. The Woodland Spur can be accessed from the Freeman Street trail head and trends northwest through an upland woodland. The trail passes a seasonal pond that is inundated throughout the rainy season. The .75 mi trail can either end at Little Crab Orchard Creek and be retraced back to the Freeman Street trail head, or continue on to cross Little Crab Orchard Creek to connect to the David Kenney Trail. The creek crossing is very steep and should be only be considered by those willing to get their feet wet. At the trailhead, you can turn south to connect to the Maurice Webb Trail for a loop hike through the woods and prairie restoration. Trail Adopters: Janel and Bob Taylor Exciting changes are coming to the Chautauqua Bottoms! See the organization's website to keep updated with the improvements to this location. Please visit http://www.greenearthinc.org/ for more information.Show more
#10 - Grassy Creek Trail
Carbondale, Illinois
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(11)
Length: 2.3 mi • Est. 1 h 4 m
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