Explore the most popular kid friendly 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.

1 day ago

Pretty trail with some awesome rock formations. But as other reviews say marking was horrendous.

Very short hike. Cool rock formations that are easy to get to. I'd probably give this trail an easy rating vs. moderate. All trails are gravel so kind of hard on your feet.

First time here. Some of the routes have been changed from the map. Not sure if that’s a seasonal thing or not.

Observation tower was cool but the highlight was the blind they built just for bird watching and photography. I sat there for a while taking pictures of the birds and other animals!

I wouldn’t come here if it was wet. Would be both way too muddy and the foot bridges over the big would be really slippery.

Nice little bits of elevation made this a nice hike and I’ll definitely be back!

Nice walk with minimal other dogs and people. Plenty of open space easily accessible off the trail to take my owner through the forest or across the prairie. Have your owner bring poo bags and carry them back out to the trash can at the parking lot. There were even restroom facilities for my owner.

Paved path great for walking a dog or biking. Not much traffic which makes it a nice getaway for an afternoon. Saw quite a few deer, too.

Not bad for a trail close to Rockford but should be rated easy instead of moderate. Flat and wide, level trail. Nice sections along Kishwaukee River. Worth your time.

The trail is short, but beautiful. There are benches along the trail to sit and enjoy the view. I went in March. The view in summer or fall would be even better.

3 days ago

Great place for kids. I live nearby - and always had- but had never been! We enjoyed a family picnic and simple exploring. It was well worth the short drive.

We have been to Millstone Bluffs twice. The kids really enjoy seeing the petroglyphs. This is a very easy hike/ walk. Definitely take the time to stop if you’re close by!

3 days ago

This is one of my favorite places in the Shawnee National Forest. I have been here several times. This is a family friendly place. Although the trails are not well marked, there is a place to easily descend into the canyon to the base of the falls, although some climbing is required. It’s mostly just descending some large rocks. We typically take the upper rim (if you’re standing at the top of the falls facing the falls, go to the left) across to the opposite falls (not typically flowing well unless there has been a major rainfall) on the other side of the canyon and about 1/4 mile around, there is a moderately beaten path to an easily (if you’re in relatively good shape) descended rock formation that will take you into the canyon. This side is fun to walk around as well. We LOVE picnicking at the base of the falls. It is so peaceful. I highly recommend a sunny day after a decent rain. There are many people typically climbing and rappelling on the rock formations. I’d say there is something for everyone, if you’re able to do a little climbing (just from one stone to another- not anything requiring special equipment)!

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.

Beautiful all year round!

Not much to look at but a great dog park!

Messy. Couldn’t find the marked path

Pretty simple path, open view along the buffalo fence. Did not see any Buffalo.

Great for a relaxing walk...even with kids. Love the view of the lake...peaceful.

Nice little walk with the kids for their first hike. Went in late winter/early spring so new growth and animal tracks to point out. Very limited parking and a couple trucks flew by when were getting out.

19724 Stratford Lane is address for google map directions. Small parking lot plenty of signs to follow to get you to devils prop. Unfortunately as beautiful as the rock formations & creek are. The site has been vandalized and littered. There are no trails markings. If you are in the area stop by. But I wouldn’t drive far for this one.

I went early in the morning without any issues. No one was there besides myself. Due to heavy litter and vandalism I wouldn’t hike in late evening or at nighttime.

7 days ago

Really pretty area. This was hidden gem you would never find without online mapping. There are no trail markers, Park signs, or any information available at the site, but google maps takes you right to it. The road to get there is poorly maintained which can do damage to commuter cars if the driver is not careful. Falls are at the head of the trail with approximately 3/4 mile loop which leads down around the bluffs over bedrock trails to the base of the falls and cataracts. The trail is poorly demarcated in most places and is a struggle to find the correct path but it is not easy to get lost due to the trail following the canyon. Finding the loop was tricky, as it is a much more advanced climb than the trail leading down to the falls which involves scrambling over rocks and a ledge crawl over the top of the falls. Though it was passable with me and my 60 year-old-mother. We went on March 14th which fed the falls with snow melt providing beautiful views and a nice brisk hike. Though we were both a little winded after climbing up the backside of the falls, I'd definitely recommend this hike. Expect to spend 30 minutes to an hour depending on your speed and agility.

7 days ago

Incredible place that almost no one knows about. A true gem. Amazing rock outcroppings and a view that is as good as any in the area. The "stone face" itself is somewhat small, but very cool in my opinion. The trail however is hard to navigate after you come down off the bluffs. In this case I recommend turning around and coming back the way you came after a certain point (the power line cut), or when you come down off the ridge, just walk directly along the bluffs until you come back to the original trail, or can make your way to the parking lot. Worth every bit of the trouble.

9 days ago

At Schweitzer Woods you will find a 5 acre fenced dog park with a large open play space in addition to some wooded trail hiking. Surrounding the fenced dog park is 150 acres of beautiful unfenced trail hiking through woods and meadows. I found it a little odd that both wooded trails dead end to nowhere.

Bring your own water/bowl for your dog.

Most of the forested area was designated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Extensive restoration efforts have been made here to eradicate non-native shrubs from woodland tracts.

Kenyon Farm Forest Preserve in South Elgin is very simple and pleasant, with a small parking lot and paths not paved but mowed into the greenery. A small pond and several interesting trees.

Very small park in a neighborhood. It’s a nice little park if you live near by, not really worth driving to.

10 days ago

Nice hike up a drainage following a small creek.

10 days ago

short hike up a small drainage. Some nice rock formations.

10 days ago

Nice Loop. Fun rock formations, couple creek crossings, good variety. The trail marking are poor. The first part is fine follow it across the creek and up the next hill, you will come to a marker telling you to turn left to the rock formations, take it left as indicated. (the trail straight forward is the river to river trail). I in a short distance down the hill you will come across the rock formation, take time to explore, then continue north, down the hill on the established trail, you will come to the creek again, cross it and stay on the established trail, (you may see a sign that says panther den with an arrow telling you to turn right, ignore it) following the creek, crossing it again, the trail heads up the hill to the left, which shortly heads back south towards the trail head, you will come to another intersection that says trail head left, take it left and will join the trail you came in on, turn right, and your about 1/4 mile from the parking lot.

This trail is only the McKee Marsh area. Blackwell is actually south and east of the outlined trail.

Refer to the listing for “Regional, Bobolink, and Catbird” for Blackwell forest preserve.

The trails are well marked and fun to hike. Lots of rolling hills and scenic quiet spots. In early spring it’s easy to see the river from the higher elevations. Nice little gift shop too. Well worth getting to know!

11 days ago

Hiked the smaller loop today, beautiful wooded areas. Not bad for our first time out. Maybe next time we will follow th map!

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