Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

park is also well maintained for camping

kids like to roller skating as the whole path is paved

fun hikes at Ballard nature center . this one is a little long for my kids they start asking if where there yet but a nice hike. we tend to stick to shorter trails at Ballard but they like the nature center alot

This is one of my favorite Lake Country trails - the scenery is beautiful and I loved walking along the river.

Dense snow 15 degrees

hiking
snow
3 days ago

Beautiful snowy day so the trail was covered but packed well. Not a lot of hikers on a January Thursday morning. Recommend YakTrax during days like today. Scenery was pleasant. Trail was well kept. Everyone in the group seemed happy with the trail.

This was during the shutdown and gates closed. Only adds 4/10’s of a mile to the hike. Took the upper left trail and came back up the lower right side. Don’t pass this one up if visiting Garden of the Gods!

great local trail for a few hours hike

Always good to see after a rain

hiking
7 days ago

Great trail. One of my new favorites around. Went right after it snowed. With a good set of crampons we had no issue hiking her. I would certainly come back here to hike again or come back with my mountain bike. Only issue with this trail is markings are hard to follow at some points. Also the sound of gun shots so close while you’re trying to enjoy the woods can be a little unnerving.

I definitely recommend going down the hilly trail first, ending with the look out point and hill up to the exit if you want an easier route. Steep waterfall filled trails are breathtaking but can be extremely slippery when wet. Hike with caution!

My home trail and one of my favorite loops!

beautiful hike, very scenic.

All of Starved Rock is great. This trail shows some of the best in the park. NIce combined trail

About as good of a view as one can find in Illinois!

Nice peaceful lake trail

Very flat, kinda boring. I wish there were more views of the lake. Also don’t go alone, I didn’t feel completely safe. Extremely muddy patches

Super easy and short. This is a weather dependent hike and you can call to find out if the confluence is open because of flooding.

Do not bring big dogs unless you plan on going the long way around. It was near impossible lifting my 90lb. dog up some very steep cliffs. Also this map is not as accurate for making your way down to the falls. Follow the trail markers.

Beautiful winter hike! The trail was well maintained though not marked. It isn't a long hike, but it has some steep climbs to get your heart pounding, as well as diverse and unusual habitats. The steep prairies are breathtaking and unlike anything I've seen elsewhere. I'd like to come back in the summer to see the wildflowers in bloom. This hike was okay with dogs; I wouldn't take small kids, though.

We started the loop by taking the stairs heading southeast. You'll quickly get to the prairie, then turn away from the bluffs and walk through a forest on the spine of a ridge that loops around a hollow. When you reach the prairie again, be sure to take the spur that leads straight toward the bluff before doubling back to the main trail, which leads back down to the parking lot.

In my opinion, the best trails in the preserve are through the maple and oak forest north of the entrance. Great hiking throughout the year on these trails. You can also ride your bike through the forest north all the way to Blackwell Forest Preserve.

If you like mud, this is for you. It hasn’t rained in over a week and the river water level is low, but the trail is still mostly mud. There are many down and dead trees throughout. One of my kids said it reminds him of a scene from a horror movie so not the most enjoyable nature scene either. Perhaps if the trail were completely frozen it may be more enjoyable but there was so much mud we took the main road back, despite the lack of a sidewalk to do so.

Great woodland trail!

We hiked this trail on a very warm winter day, so it was very muddy. The wooded area was a loop, but we did repeat the middle section of the trail. I enjoyed the lake views in the first part of the trail, and the hilly, wooded area at the end of the trail. We hiked up the road for the last portion. Lots of opportunities for photo taking!

Large parking lot that sometimes fills up. Very popular for good reason, great hike!!! Unless you go early (sunrise) or late ( sunset) there is a crowd. One of the best hikes in Shawnee and a “ must do”

We love biking to the Lincoln Marsh via the Prairie path! It is very peaceful here and you hear many different animals if you are quiet.

We love the beauty of this park with the tall trees and pretty lake.

An overlooked gem. This trail offers some spectacular views and opportunities to explore off the trail.

Good trail with nice views.

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