Explore the most popular forest 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.

Beautiful all year round!

Not much to look at but a great dog park!

Messy. Couldn’t find the marked path

trail running
1 day ago

Great challenge!! It was a little difficult to follow the white diamonds to reach the other side once you got down into the canyon, but other than that it was a wonderful workout and a lovely hike.

1 day ago

Great trail for kids and pets. Flat paved trails near the river and moderate dirt trails up to the bird sanctuary. Bird sanctuary is worth the trip. Lots to explore!

Beautiful views. Not sure about the easy rating with the elevation climb, but I made it.

Great for a relaxing walk...even with kids. Love the view of the lake...peaceful.

Nice little walk with the kids for their first hike. Went in late winter/early spring so new growth and animal tracks to point out. Very limited parking and a couple trucks flew by when were getting out.

19724 Stratford Lane is address for google map directions. Small parking lot plenty of signs to follow to get you to devils prop. Unfortunately as beautiful as the rock formations & creek are. The site has been vandalized and littered. There are no trails markings. If you are in the area stop by. But I wouldn’t drive far for this one.

I went early in the morning without any issues. No one was there besides myself. Due to heavy litter and vandalism I wouldn’t hike in late evening or at nighttime.

Really lovely trail all along the way. Easy to follow except at the stream crossings. There are no bridges so if the water is up like it was for us you will need to wade. I built a rocky causeway to pass the first crossing upstream but the downstream crossing was much too deep and we had to get our feet wet. The spring is not visible from the trail and appears on the map to source several miles away which may be visible from another road which passes through that way(just by visual inspection on a map). The trail was easy to follow in most places though some spots we lost it due to sharp turns and lack of arrows indicating the proper path which caused us to do some unnecessary ledge crawling. The sentry bluff trail(Blue diamonds) travels along with part of the Natural bridge trail(Yellow Diamonds) close to the parking area where the natural bridge can be seen across the creek. However unless coming in a dry/low water season you will be getting your feet wet to see the natural bridge or to hike any trails on the other side of the stream. Both the entire length of the sentry trail we took and the finale of the natural bridge at the end were stunningly beautiful. A spraying water fall into the keyhole of the natural bridge gave rise to a small rainbow next to a a large snaking tree which climbed the height of the bridge into the canopy above.
Definitely well worth the visit. Better trail marking in places and bridges for stream crossings would make my 5 star review.

4 days ago

Really pretty area. This was hidden gem you would never find without online mapping. There are no trail markers, Park signs, or any information available at the site, but google maps takes you right to it. The road to get there is poorly maintained which can do damage to commuter cars if the driver is not careful. Falls are at the head of the trail with approximately 3/4 mile loop which leads down around the bluffs over bedrock trails to the base of the falls and cataracts. The trail is poorly demarcated in most places and is a struggle to find the correct path but it is not easy to get lost due to the trail following the canyon. Finding the loop was tricky, as it is a much more advanced climb than the trail leading down to the falls which involves scrambling over rocks and a ledge crawl over the top of the falls. Though it was passable with me and my 60 year-old-mother. We went on March 14th which fed the falls with snow melt providing beautiful views and a nice brisk hike. Though we were both a little winded after climbing up the backside of the falls, I'd definitely recommend this hike. Expect to spend 30 minutes to an hour depending on your speed and agility.

4 days ago

Incredible place that almost no one knows about. A true gem. Amazing rock outcroppings and a view that is as good as any in the area. The "stone face" itself is somewhat small, but very cool in my opinion. The trail however is hard to navigate after you come down off the bluffs. In this case I recommend turning around and coming back the way you came after a certain point (the power line cut), or when you come down off the ridge, just walk directly along the bluffs until you come back to the original trail, or can make your way to the parking lot. Worth every bit of the trouble.

5 days ago

At Schweitzer Woods you will find a 5 acre fenced dog park with a large open play space in addition to some wooded trail hiking. Surrounding the fenced dog park is 150 acres of beautiful unfenced trail hiking through woods and meadows. I found it a little odd that both wooded trails dead end to nowhere.

Bring your own water/bowl for your dog.

Most of the forested area was designated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Extensive restoration efforts have been made here to eradicate non-native shrubs from woodland tracts.

Very small park in a neighborhood. It’s a nice little park if you live near by, not really worth driving to.

Nice hike up a drainage following a small creek.

7 days ago

short hike up a small drainage. Some nice rock formations.

I only rate this as a moderate hike because of the distance. It is a very easy hike. The western side is the best part of the hike. I would hike counterclockwise to save the best for last. several backpack camps all with fire rings and tables. trail is easy to follow if you use their map.

7 days ago

Nice Loop. Fun rock formations, couple creek crossings, good variety. The trail marking are poor. The first part is fine follow it across the creek and up the next hill, you will come to a marker telling you to turn left to the rock formations, take it left as indicated. (the trail straight forward is the river to river trail). I in a short distance down the hill you will come across the rock formation, take time to explore, then continue north, down the hill on the established trail, you will come to the creek again, cross it and stay on the established trail, (you may see a sign that says panther den with an arrow telling you to turn right, ignore it) following the creek, crossing it again, the trail heads up the hill to the left, which shortly heads back south towards the trail head, you will come to another intersection that says trail head left, take it left and will join the trail you came in on, turn right, and your about 1/4 mile from the parking lot.

This trail is only the McKee Marsh area. Blackwell is actually south and east of the outlined trail.

Refer to the listing for “Regional, Bobolink, and Catbird” for Blackwell forest preserve.

trail is only 1 3/4 mile as posted. Not 4.7 as the description states.

lots of bikes. took our dogs and found a trail that was quiet andd woodsy. dogs loved it. main entrance was very busy and lots of bikes. my dogs hate bikes

The rock formations are worth the hike.

If you cross the railroad tracks and go over to the Jackson Hollow side, the hike is even better. If you know where the other trails are in that area you can link them all together to make a nice weekend backpacking trip. It’s the best backpacking in the Shawnee. If you do Jackson Hollow stay near the cliffs. The trail is faint ever since they kicked horses out of that area. To cross the tracks, when the trail hits the tracks, turn left and walk down the tracks about 400 yards and you will see on the other side the place to cross into it. There is a large trail that runs down the bottom of the valley but you will want to get up by the cliffs. The Promise Land climbing area is over on that side of the tracks. My hike starts on the Jackson Hollow side crosses the tracks goes through the Jackson Falls area up the dog walk and back to our campsite. I’ve been hiking this area for about 50 years.

Nice park. Great signage all of the trails are labeled. There are different trails you can do and numerous scenic look out points. Also a scenic drive if you want to go back to the top to take some photos or watch the sun set.

We do this walk a lot with our dog. We like it.

Enjoy the inside trails. They are so much fun and very scenic.

You know this is quite the jem for this area. If you didn’t know the area you could miss the trail. It is great for birding. Fairly easy, so ......decent for kids of walking age without to much monitoring or worry. There are some high cliffs and small caves to explore. Over all nice little trek.

The trail was in great shape. Markings are very easy to see and there are plenty of them. If you are doing the full loop you want to take Dogwood (it splits, left is neat), then it turns into Ridge, then Hickory, then Hickory North, then be sure to peel off left to Fern Hollow, cross the road and continue. Then Hickory South. The last mile marker you will see is 5miles. Roughly 5.5 mile loop.

My favorite for my skill level.

Load More