Explore the most popular hiking 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 with amazing scenery. We went late December water was flowing and very slick in spots. I highly recommend this trail.

This trail is good. I enjoyed hiking in these woods. One part is confusing like many others have said. This trail also goes by the nature center (Little Red School House) which was nice to stop inside and learn some history. Go out and enjoy this trail.

Today we hiked 5 miles from Davis Creek to the main entrance of the State Park. Uphill. In about 5" of snow, in 5° weather. With 10 Scouts and 3 adults.
It was wonderful! Beautiful, serene and quite. A terrific hike in any weather.

park is also well maintained for camping

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

my kids love this trail best in summer because they love to play in the creeks that wind through the hollwers. The rock over hangs over the creeks are beautiful. I recommend it for a nice leisure hike for kids a fun kid hike.

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

Dense snow 15 degrees

If you’re looking for a quiet place this is it! As soon as you get out of your car it’s peaceful!

I plan on doing a section hike of the AT in about 18 months. I would like to do the River to River all the way through to prepare. It's close to where I live. I wouldn't mind others tagging along.

hiking
snow
5 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

hiking
6 days ago

Really nice hike to do in between classes. Finished in 45 minutes and took my time. Really beautiful cliffs!

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

hiking
9 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.

Beautiful scenery, perfect for families & various fitness levels.

Great little trail.

hiking
snow
10 days ago

This is typically a trial we try to hike every winter. One direction goes north follows rail tracks, is more urban, and goes underneath a major road. The other direction has a bridge over a major road and goes toward a small airport.

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!

10 days ago

This trail has great water features and is not very crowded. Small walkable pathways next to cliff faces make you feel hidden within the forest.

My home trail and one of my favorite loops!

backpacking
12 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.

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