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.

Great trail. I ran it in the snow and I missed a turn and ended up cutting across the golf course. Nevertheless, loved it. Several flocks of snow geese flew over during my run,which is something you don’t see every day!

Always good to see after a rain

Great little trail.

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!

backpacking
4 days ago

Pushed myself and hiked the entirety in 6 days. Waking up on a misty morning in Panther's Den with no one else around was the highlight. Hiked it in late March, so the weather was perfect and I enjoyed and nice cigar before heading down to the Mississippi. I'd definitely do it again, but there are many more trails to hike.

very pretty walk. great for kids.

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!

This highly scenic trail provides almost constant views of the Big Muddy river and surrounding floodplain from a series of overlooks atop imposing cliffs. Lots of payoff for minimal effort.

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

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.

Perfect for my kids and I for a quick, level loop. Completed smaller loop in 30 min with 2 small kids and a teen. Fresh air was great; educational signs along the way were a bonus. Great walking trail!

hiking
9 days ago

The coal mine was a neat feature of the park. The trail to the mine entrance ran along, and sometimes through, the small stream, which made this a fair bit muddy as well. Several large blowdowns also added to the difficulty.

hiking
9 days ago

Super muddy, trekking poles saved me from falling four times. Definitely not for someone with limited mobility. As you ascend the first hill from the parking area, nearing the rope hand hold, follow the rocks up to the ditch along to the right. This meets up with the trail and is a bit less muddy. Once you arrive at the T, take a left and a small bench and sign post let you know where to turn towards the glen. Peoria is lucky to have this available for access.

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!

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”

Short trail leading to the bottom of a large rock face. During wet weather there is a nice water fall you can walk behind. Great trail for a beginner or someone that wants a 10 minute hike. Large parking lot

No signs from Rt3 keeps this trail less crowded. Small parking lot, but excellent trail. Trees have blocked a lot of the view, so go in the fall or winter to get better views. The is a path that leads to a rock overhang that has great brows year round

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

hiking
9 days ago

Area was extremely muddy and icy. Paved areas were highly trafficked.

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

Very muddy!

Good trail with nice views.

Fantastic trail!

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