Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

road biking
2 days ago

really nice trail. will definitely ride again. Well maintained; well marked; lovely scenery

We hiked down the the falls in the shorter loop next to the road. Beautiful scenery, falls weren't too impressive, more of a trickle in early June despite the rain a few days earlier, but we expected that. The trails are not well marked, you need to either know the area or bring a GPS! We used this app (AllTrails) and were exceptionally glad we did or we would have gone in the wrong direction more than once. There is a faster way to get down to the falls than going all the way around to Helispot, and we took this way back up to our car. I suggest if you want to get to the bottom quickly, you do the following: (1) drive past the parking area/trailhead and park on the side of the road about half a mile down, coordinates 37.505523, -88.681285 (caution, road is pretty bumpy but can be managed) (2) hike down from the road approx 100ft to the trail and go left, (3) pass over a wooden bridge, (4) at GPS coordinates 37.504375, -88.681905 clamber down the boulder trail to the bottom of the bluff (there is a red emergency/first-aid staion @ the bottom). It may look impossible at first glance which is how we missed it, but it is not hard if you are physically able and saves you from having to walk over a mile further. (4) go northwest about a quarter mile, stay right along the bottom of the bluffs until you get to the falls. We learned of this way from a very kind older gentleman who was camping overnight @ the bottom of the falls.

Very pretty and enjoyable trail. Great for running or biking, but can get pretty hot as there is no shade. Best in the cooler months or early morning hours.

The water crossings make it fun. Make sure to hike the Sleepy Hollow Trail while here.

Only did 2 1/2 miles but very beautiful and very shaded

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.

backpacking
7 days ago

I went in the summer and there was alot of growth on the trail east of Hutchins creek. I was the only one on the trail and there were alot of spider webs on the trail. it was not easy finding a good place to make camp due to all the growth. It would probably be much better in the sping or fall. I did see a deer at the creek crossing.

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mountain biking
12 days ago

Very nice preserve, Well kept, easy way around. Well mapped. Was 1st time through, will ride again, I ride in Wisconsin living there. If U ride to Danada to Butterfield gets tricky and steep in one section. Enjoy

Same as everyone else has stated, the trek down can be rugged and boring, but the ending is worth it.

trail running
16 days ago

Everything was so overgrown
So sad i was able to do .3 and mile. The lake seemed nice but there was a couple doing their thing!!! So disappointed :(

hiking
16 days ago

Here usually once a week in spring through fall with our pups. Great trail and easy although there are some spots a little tricky. Prefer going during the week as not so crowded. Make sure to bring skeeter and tick repellent for yourself and pups.

Nice trail to prepare for hiking trips. The trail is unmarked in one part but it’s easy to figure out. Good ~10 mile hike!

Enjoyable open trail, few trees and little shade, well maintained trail!

hiking
19 days ago

Great hiking trail. I liked the different elevations. Many mountain bikers from both ways to watch out for, but they alert you when they’re coming and let you know how many more are behind them. Looking forward to biking next time although it looks a little harder than a moderate trail.

Wear bug spray. I think I fed half the mosquito population of Palos on our walk!

My wife and our dog went there for a mid-morning hike.

A good find in southern Illinois! Pleasantly surprised.

Very nice gravel trail. Some spots fairly uneven but not a problem. Great place for a morning ride. Shade is pretty sparse.

mountain biking
26 days ago

Well maintained crushed limestone trail. Not the greatest scenery but you do ride by the Midewin Prairie. I would recommend bike riding but you can also take the trail on horseback or on foot. Goes from Interstate 80 to the Kankakee River.

hiking
27 days ago

Truly enjoyed this trail. Rolling hills, great vistas, and bullfrogs singing at the Tomahawk Slough.

mountain biking
27 days ago

Well maintained trail I ride it often

I love this trail but would rate easy, not moderate.

mountain biking
1 month ago

It’s really wide but there is still plenty of rocks and roots to have a good time on a mountain bike. There is lots of signage, however I wasn’t always sure which sign I needed to follow. Over all a great ride.

hiking
1 month ago

Great walking and biking trails.

Trails are pretty overgrown wear pants or long socks.

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.

Great bike ride
Wildlife at dusk
Mildly hilly

For this area this is not an easy trail. Moderate and if you aren't paying close attention it's somewhat easy to get lost. history of the woods is interesting. stay on the marked trails.

Pretty rock formations in the canyon , but wayyy toooi many trees blocking paths.

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