Explore the most popular cave 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.

another stunning park!. Shawnee national forest ceases to amaze me.

Definitely making another trip back!!! We could spend all day here and still not see everything!! We loved it! Nice trails and beautiful rock formations! We will definitely go back soon!

Nice short trail with a lot to see!! Absolutely beautiful!! Can't wait to go back!

Great little place to stop and visit when jumping parks!! The kids enjoyed it very much! Very neat!

hiking
2 days ago

Went with my wife and kids twice now, the kids really like seeing the rock shelters. I really like the fact it’s the closest hiking trail to me that has interesting sights along with nature. Some of the vandalism is very graphic, luckily the kids could see past it and enjoy the time there. The trail is a “straight trail” so you walk the same way back, it follows a little creek that goes along side bluffs. The main area around the shelters is pretty fun to explore though, we spent around 2 hours just exploring the area with the kids.

Hiked here for the first time today. It's a pretty neat little trail, I had fun climbing on some of the rocks

hiking
7 days ago

This is an easy hike to an awesome spot. Definitely off the beaten path, but the trail is easy to follow. When you get to the natural area sign just follow the bluff line past the power line clearing to the cave.
Make sure to keep following the bluff for a little way after the cave, as it is very spectacular. Definitely one of the coolest places in the Shawnee National Forest. Also be prepared to be accompanied on your hike by a friendly black lab.

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked this trail this morning with my pup. We passed other groups every 5-10 minutes. The hike was scenic and not too strenuous minus the stairs going back up to the trailhead/parking lot. Sad to say that water was not flowing in Lasalle Canyon, but it was still beautiful scenery.

As with the other trails in the area, the Hawk’s Cave Trail features some really impressive rock formations and massive cliffs. Fun place to explore. I would suggest hiking it clockwise from the trailhead, as this will save the cliffs for the latter half of the trail. The cliffs will seem really imposing when you approach them from this direction.

hiking
10 days ago

There is a trail at the top of the park with a sign across the roads from the cabins, but it does not follow what is shown on the app. It appears that they are trying to create more trails in this wooded area. Part of this trail includes paved roads to get to the cave, which is awesome.

Path is well maintained around top loop, and is what you would expect from an easy walk in the woods. When you reach the staircase that takes you down to the ox-lot cave the landscape drastically changes. There are extraordinary rock formations, sheer cliffs, and exciting small caves. You could spend an hour in this area alone exploring all the rock formations. Overall the loop took us 1.5 hours with lots of exploring.

Nice easy trail with great views and rock formations. Worth a look if in the area.

14 days ago

LaSalle Canyon is one of the canyons at Starved Rock that consistently has a waterfall, as water movement can vary largely. I do recommend arriving early to avoid too much of a crowd, especially on the weekends. It is a very popular Canyon at the park. The bridge to Tonty Canyon has been out recently, so access on the return trail is difficult unless you are willing to venture below the bridge.

Not surprising that this is a big draw for visitors, beautiful vistas for very little work! Fun scrambling on the rocks, good late afternoon cap on a day of more intense hiking.

Very cool hike, learned a thing or two from the signs too.

Beautiful area to explore. Definitely bigger than I was expecting! You’re welcome to climb on the rocks as much as you want which added for extra entertainment. Could’ve spent hours just sitting and taking in the view

good trail. well maintained. if you come from the visitors center there are a ton of stairs. slightly less if you park at the lodge.

hiking
25 days ago

The trail itself is a little bit boring and nowhere near hard. I know the trail is rated as hard, but it is easy to moderate at its best. I would have given it 5 stars if there would have been water in the river. It was very dry so it wasn’t so beautiful. 3 stars isn’t really what I wanted either, but it won’t allow me to do 3,5. If you are afraid of spiders, now is not the time to hike this trail as there are spiderwebs all over the place. I almost turned around after constantly getting webs in my face. I eventually walked with a stick to destroy all the webs. I went off trail at one point to walk along the dry riverbed and to do some rock climbing. That made it much more exiting. I combined this trail with the natural bridge and the white trail. 5 miles in total.

Awesome!!

This is a short hike, but a must see at Ferne Clyffe. The shelter bluff is very impressive.

Absolutely amazing views!

Nice clear trails. Some wooded and shady, some grassy and sunny. Well kept. Saw toads, wildflowers, deer trails, and plenty of butterflies. Easy/moderate terrain. Little muddy at the start due to rains last night. One fallen tree about .6 miles in, but we climbed over.

What a great app indispensable out in the Shawnee. Simply pick a trail and it links up with googl to get you there!

hiking
1 month ago

Small inclines to beautiful overhang. Nice little loop.

One of So IL’s best spots. Been coming here since 90s. Technical enough to keep it interesting but still big kid friendly. Spent an amazing night there last night with unbelievably forgiving weather for July. We camped at a well established spot by the water about a 15-20 min hike from the north CH trailhead and before the Wolf Den. Took 5 ticks off my son this morning but none on me. Guess they don’t like the smell of bourbon. New hikers should be aware of the two options at the north trailhead. The left fork is more friendly if you’re packing heavy or not in prime condition. The right fork is a bit of rock and boulder hopping down into the valley.

Short but fun.

cool rock formations

Great, easy little loop with a great overhang cave. so beautiful! local told us to keep an eye out for snakes but we didn't see any.

Awesome! The waterfall was gorgeous. 7 and 10 year old completed it w/ some but not too much effort. Bugs. Worth it ❤️

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