Explore the most popular trails near Junction with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Junction, Illinois Map
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We started the trail clockwise. It is a easy hike on a stone paved walkway for a little bit then you will see the stairs to go down and squeeze thru the rock formations..then the trail is a dirt path which had a little mud because it had rained the day before. But not too bad at all! Loved to see the huge rock cliffs beside us as we hiked. It’s a easy peaceful hike only saw one other person so not too crowded!

Beautiful trail. Easy hike , enjoyed the colors of fall

Trailer was enjoyable

loved the view of the lake if you take the straight bit off the loop and then double back. rock formations were awesome. go in fall when the trees are in color - it's breathtaking!

Beautiful! Recommend taking the outer trail, definitely worth it and fun to explore.

Great trail! Beginning half of trail is on a man made rock path. Very easy to navigate. Then trail continues into rock formations producing fantastic views. Second half of loop is on an incline. Nothing too difficult. Wish trail were longer!

A good one in Shawnee, great rock formation!

Defintely do this one, you can also hike over to Pounds Hollow from this trail.

another stunning park!. Shawnee national forest ceases to amaze me.

Definitely making another trip back!!! We could spend all day here and still not see everything!! We loved it! Nice trails and beautiful rock formations! We will definitely go back soon!

Path is well maintained around top loop, and is what you would expect from an easy walk in the woods. When you reach the staircase that takes you down to the ox-lot cave the landscape drastically changes. There are extraordinary rock formations, sheer cliffs, and exciting small caves. You could spend an hour in this area alone exploring all the rock formations. Overall the loop took us 1.5 hours with lots of exploring.

Very cool hike, learned a thing or two from the signs too.

cool rock formations

Fun hike with a 7 year old in tow. Enjoyed the rock formations and ox-lot cave. Very relaxed and educational.

This was too cool. There was plenty to explore here, so many cool rock formations, while you're on the bottom floor you can't help but just stare up in awe. The long staircase through some narrow passages in the natural rock was awesome and if my current physical state would have allowed me to, I would have just kept going up and down that portion.

In the Shawnee National Forest is a rock escarpment known as Rim Rock. This park is just a few minutes drive from Garden of the Gods so plan to do this trail on the same day. The trail goes up over the hill along a paved flagstone trail and then dives down through the rocks where it passes through narrow slot canyons to the canyon below. the center of the trail is just an enjoyable walk in the woods with no scenery. But once you reach the northern part of the loop you'll see the steps leading down to narrow stone passages. Return to the top of the steps to follow a rock outcropping back along the western loop or descend tot he bottom of the passage until you reach the canyon floor where you can continue CW along massive cliffs back to the trailhead.

Grrrr! Rawr! Great place to sleep, throw rocks and stalk deer.

A trail with views. Not particularly difficult until the trek back up that involves many stairs but I was so distracted by the natural rock formations I barely noticed. Takes about an hour.

Nice quick little hike! Well marked trails with bluffs, slots to walk through in the bluffs and a creek. You can do the loop on the map, or continue on to pounds hollow (1/2 mile) by the creek. Shaded picnic benches are available.

hiking
6 months ago

As previously mentioned in other comments this trail is basically an extended edition of the Rim Rock Trail. You start off from behind the beach house at Pounds lake and walk along to the end of the lake then through a canyon area until you hit in my opinion the best part of the hike which is the stairs up to the rock formations. I wish this part had been longer as the rest of the 3 mile hike is really just a nature walk. The rock formations really made this hike worthwhile for me. So if you are in it only for the rock formations then save yourselves 2 extra miles and do the Rim Rock trail instead. However if you have some extra time to your day the walk along the lake and through the canyon was very pretty, scenic, and an easy stroll. Would not rate this trail as "Hard" by any means.

The trail was very easy to follow and the entire left wing was paved stone. After a weekend in the Shawnee, I would rank this area 3rd after Garden of the Gods and Little Grand Canyon. If you go to the Garden of the Gods, you must go down the road to this area. The area is covered with moss covered rocks and then you descend down the bluff cutting through wedges in the large rocks. We went on a wet weekend and the water was trickling from everywhere. Once down near the creek the trail splits. We thought that this was the junction of the middle and right side loop, but this is actually the right side loop and the trail that goes up to the lake and back. If you go up the lake trail about 1/4 mile you will find a small waterfall. The site map indicates that most people hike up to this waterfall and back out. From the trail head, the left and middle trails will both take you to the top of the stairs on the bluff, the right trail will take you to the bottom of the bluff.

incredible

We did this hike yesterday, starting at Rim Rock (we took the path to the far right (of the four options) and making our way to Pounds Hollow. We actually spent a little time at Pounds Hollow to take a break (up the bluff), then hiked back, where there is a small sign at the point of the three large bluff/ rock formation areas. We headed the opposite direction that we came from to ox-lot cave and wandered/ climbed around until we found a stone staircase. That led between the rock formations and toward a recently created or remodeled wooden staircase that takes you to the top of Ox-lot. We then took the upper trail back to the parking area. During our hike, we ended up with a distance of 4 miles and climbed the equivalent of 37 flights. It was an excellent time. Calling it a moderate hike/ trail is mostly accurate. I would say easy to moderate. I did take the time to climb up a few of the formations and experience different views. I would recommend it just to really take everything in. Recent rains meant the water was flowing nicely and there were very few people there, so you really got to hear the amazing, peaceful, serene sounds of nature!

SNF has done a wonderful job keeping this area up. The addition of walkways, benches, and bridges simplify the trail, but do not take away from the environment. Most is likely done as a protective feature for the natural areas and the hikers. This is a family friendly place. There were only 5 other families/ couples there when we left, only two others when we arrived.

Amazing rock formations

Kids all loved it, especially all the nooks and crannies of the rocks.

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Enjoyed this trail and as others have said we too ended up in Pounds Hollow! There’s an open area where the very small sign is and we missed it. Not a big deal, we just walked back the same way. But it is an extra half mile each way to pounds hollow. The trail itself is pretty easy with some fairly good elevation changes.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I hiked this trail today. I did end up at Pounds Hollow, but I saw the sign and kept going. There is a sign. It's short, but it's there. I didn't take the street back. I simply went back the way I came, turned at the little sign and finished the trail back to my car. Really nice area.

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

I have hiked this trail twice and both times I ended up on Pounds Hollow Lake Road and had to hike the highway back to Rim Rock. There are no signs telling you which way to go on the trail. If you get to the beach area, you've gone too far. I love the trail, though. Very beautiful and peaceful. But now that I've found this website and have a map, I know where to go and am going to go back and walk the trail the right way!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Nice trail!

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