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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Awesome little hidden gem, history was very interesting and Gorgeous views! I would come back every day if I could.

We hiked this on a warm February afternoon that followed a significant snowfall and hard freeze. The water had frozen into giant icicles hanging down the face of the cliff that made it look like a frozen waterfall. Occasionally one would break off and the noise was like a cannon. Water was dripping everywhere. This is one of the best spots in the Shawnee, probably overshadowed by Garden of the Gods just down the road.

hiking
23 days ago

Great little trail full of slot canyons, cool bluffs and places to explore around. Great views and sunsets up top

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!

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.

4 months ago

Pretty, difficult to find. Trailhead starts a little bit down the road.

Hard to find. The office at the campground was super rude when we tried to get directions. Definitely didn't feel welcome whatsoever. A waste of time, the overlook wasn't really worth it. Horse poo on the trails that weren't maintained well.

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!

hiking
6 months ago

We've hiked to High Knob from Garden of the Gods, I believe its part of the River to River trail.

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.

9 months ago

Overgrown, couldn’t find the trail

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
10 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.

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