Explore the most popular lake 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.

This is a great hike. Lots of different canyons to check out and see. The trail it’s self is easy to follow and there is a map at every intersection. Get ready to walk up stairs. But the views are worth the walk. Go out and enjoy this trail.

walking
2 days ago

Varied trail ranging from flat on east side of lake to fairly steep, narrow trails on west side. Be watchful for mountain bikes on west side but rare.

Beautiful park, but could use some better signage to direct visitors to the various canyons and bluffs.

Pro tip: St. Louis Canyon has the best waterfall. The actual starved rock is a little anticlimactic.

Only hiked a few miles on easy terrain. Good easy hike with plenty of markings.

Hiked in 1.5 miles from cedar lake trailhead then back. (3 total). Trail was not groomed but still easy to follow. Very wooded. Bugs were not bad. No others hikers or bikers were there on a cool Oct afternoon.

I greatly enjoy a time of quiet and natural reflection. excellent trail and a lot to see if you are quiet and alert.

This trail was Aussome!! We loved it!! The dogs loved the easy access to the water and I loved the nice paths!! Very easy for someone with a dead leg and MS to walk comfortably!!!

A great place for a day hike.

This nature preserve had some pretty scenery, but even coated with bug spray head-to-toe and with multiple reapplications, I ended up with 48 mosquitos bites (but who’s counting?!). Seriously—it’s a very buggy, swampy hike. There was a constant buzzing / whirring sound in the distance—maybe farm equipment? We also heard numerous gunshots nearby. There were some trail markers, but without a phone/gps, we would have been pretty lost; even with it, we veered off course onto private property numerous times. Also note that Apple Maps directed us way off course and into the swamp (the AllTrails map to the trailhead is correct, however, so use that one!). This was probably my least favorite hike in the STL area.

9 days ago

trails are fine but not too exciting. large chunks of the trail are through parking lots, playgrounds, or picnic areas. trails were very muddy but we'll maintained. lacks view points or points of interest, just a walk around the lake. good for what it is but probably won't be back.

took 2 hours with kids, seemed a little longer than 3.6 miles. not sure how they measured all the counters of the lake.

Trail with beautiful scenic overlooks of the lake at several places. A little harder to follow at the bottom once leaves cover the trail.

Good pathways and very pretty area.

This trailhead is a joke. It's an access point for raised power lines and the trail is just a path beaten through the prairie grass beneath them. No tree coverage.

Also, the trailhead marker clearly rates this trail as a moderate to difficult.

Did the whole loop at 6.3 mi. a nice quiet hike but not allot to look at. The fun part is on the other side of the sangamon river with the mansion and all the statue's. If you want solitude and a easy but good distance hike than this side is for you

This is a nice hike. There are many paths you can choose from. I enjoyed the quiet of this trail.

walking
15 days ago

It’s an awesome walk, just watch out for the bicycles those guys move really fast.

Very beautiful scenery & lots of wildlife. Trails are very well maintained.

Nice park & a nice trail but due to the cockleburs on the ground, not the best place for pets.

trail running
16 days ago

watch out for creepers

I'm a local to this Park it's a favorite camping place of mine. the trail is a nice walk in the mornings. they reopened the restaurant and winery, good food at a decent price and they started renting small boats again. Camping, fishing and a good walk in the wilderness.

Unless you’re familiar, This trail kinda fades away to nothing.

walking
18 days ago

My dog loves this trail! It’s lightly trafficked and great practice for people who want to work up to hard hikes. My phone said it was closer to 5 Miles the whole way around the lake. Scenic views of the lake in fall and great shade in the summer. Def bring bug spray and a hat. Easy trail at the water’s edge with just a few spots that require light feet. If you’re only doing half the trail, there’s more wildlife on the northern side.

Great trail, lots of up and down.

Trail was nice and secluded but it appeared as though it hadn’t been cut in a few weeks as other reviews have indicated. Not bad if you’re hitting a known unmanicured trail. Wear pants and maybe some waterproof shoes/boots and gators if you’re hiking at dusk or dawn. I did see plenty of wildlife including a large coyote traversing the trail right in front of me and there are plenty of mosquitoes particularly around dusk.

it was so short. they said about 30-40 mins and it took us like 15 mins. we are bigger people so we don't move very fast....it was very beautiful

Awesome trail!! This trail has a little something for every hiker. This trail can be easy to moderate depending on what path you take. We did the loop around the lake and thought it was perfect! Great views!

hiking
21 days ago

Where do you park your vehicle for this hike? Never mind...I think I found it via Google Maps.

enjoyed this trail. think it will be great when the leaves fall. parts in the woods were in good condition and tight but not so tight that I ran into the brush. a couple really nice views and a few fun small bridge crossings. the small out and back at the West side of my recording was a dead end and not really worth the hike. happy hiking

Good trail but no water available.

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