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

Got a little off trail following the wrong markers but otherwise good

Hiking 10/19/18 - Beautiful area! The trail was marked great in most places but missing several important places so that we were wandering around looking for a direction- losing time and adding 3 miles to the hike. Finished in 9 hours with moderate speed, stopped once for lunch for around 45 minutes. The alltrails app was a life saver! No ticks, very few bugs/spiders as mentioned in other posts.

Trails are horribly marked.. we spent hours going in circles trying to figure out which way to go..

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.

hiking
1 month ago

A nice, short trail, mainly for sight-seeing. Gorgeous rock formations. Great for kids!

backpacking
1 month ago

one of the most horribly blazed trail I have ever been on, blazing is good through the first half right up to about 300yds from the road then you have to walk out of the woods and find the horse R2R trail to take you back up, no blazes, then at the top of the BIG hill where the trail splits, do not follow the the red/white trail blaze it will walk you 3/4 of a mile out of your way to a horse trail, instead stay on the R2R trail at the split and you should be fine. I ended up walking 9 miles to a 6 mile campsite. I was there 9/29 and little water on late trail get your water early.

A nice walk through the woods. I was caught off guard by an incoming cold front and the temp dropped nearly 20 degrees when I was halfway in. I had decided to shed some weight before heading out and not pack my down. That was a huge mistake that I won't make again.

This is a cool rock, but it’s hard to see and the trail is a bit unclear. I did like the large cavelike overhang. Better rock fun at Giant City Nature Trail though.

Nice trail to walk with friends. Lots of rocks to climb and some trails that split off the main path that are a little more challenging but scenic.

hiking
2 months ago

When we did this, it was tough to stay on trail in spots. If we do it again, it will be in late fall or winter. I was picking ticks off constantly.

nice rock formations, good for kids and kids at heart

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is terrible. It isn’t maintained at all. There are spider webs you walk into every couple of feet. No water stops along the way. Poison ivy all over. I’d hop over the state line and hike in Missouri.

Hiked here for the first time today. It's a pretty neat little trail, I had fun climbing on some of the rocks

hiking
3 months ago

This trail would’ve been fantastic if there wasn’t a spider web every 5 feet we had to go through!!

make sure to follow the white squares with blue "i"s, especially the first one - it's in the second electric post as soon as you start

Nice hike in. Had trouble picking the trail back up once I reached the river.

Short but fun.

Well marked trail. LOTS of fairly steep uphill climbs on this one. It was pretty muddy so the trail was rugged in many spots where you had to almost straddle the path to get footing. Beautiful spot on the lake on rock causeway. Not sure I would've ridden a horse on this trail that day due to muddy conditions, but several equestrians had in the day or two prior to our visit. If you are a beginner just know that this trail has some pretty steep ascents and with it being an out and back trail, you're going to have to come back down eventually. Please take a walking stick or trek pole to aid you especially if it's muddy.

hiking
5 months ago

Good trail. Good for kids. Best features are on backside of loop. Spend some time and read the names carved into the stone. There is a sign at trailhead warning of falling sandstone. Made us a little weary to explore many of the breakout trails. Overall, very pleased. Note: it was extremely humid at the Park on the day we were there (June 14, 2018). Not sure if this was a unique day, but wow, it was thick. We’re from southwest NC and are very familiar with humidity. This isn’t a knock on the trail or the park, but more of a geographical enlightenment from someone new to the southern Illinois area.

This was a very beautiful hike, although one that has some issues. I believe it's closer to the 12 miles that the entrance signs say versus the 10.7.

We took two dogs with us, and if you are going to do this make sure they have plenty of tick repellant. Ticks are very bad this year and we picked at least 150 off of each dog, and that's not an exaggeration. Make sure you have your own repellant too, as we found a ton on ourselves.

The terrain on this trail is back and forth. A lot of gravel, mud, rock, and road. Make sure you have very good hiking shoes. Your feet will thank you for it. It is also a lot of unnecessary up hill and woodsy treks ...this will probably make you angry as it did us because the trail would take you through the woods for a second just to put you in the same field later on. Be prepared to question a lot. I would not recommend going a day after it rains (which is what we did), give the trail time to harden back up, otherwise expect a ton of mud.

The trail has very good markers in some places and very poor marking in others. I think we back tracked at least 5 times because we lost track of the markers. Pulled up the map a few times as well. Just don't lose sight of them... They are also down in a few places where trees have fell.

If you like trails that have a lot of creek bed action, this is one for you. It is very beautiful. I think all in all it took us about 7 hours with two dogs and multiple stops of about 10-20 minutes each. A lot of nice little areas to stop off and eat your packed lunch as well. Pack extra water, you are gonna need it.

Nice trail. The trailhead rates it as moderate to difficult, but I would say moderate is a fair assessment with quite a bit of up and down. It was raining when we started and so was pretty muddy and poison ivy is all over the sides of the trail. A lot of wild life, including turtles, frogs, lizards, cray fish, deer, several species of dragonflies as well as a poisonous snake in the brush when the trail takes you over the lake. Was there for 4 nights over Memorial Day weekend and only saw a hand full of other groups. Overall a great time.

It's definitely not 1.7 miles, less than 1 mile - for sure. And HOLY COW is it busy. Highly trafficked and very noisy as a result. The actual trail is nice, beautiful rock formations; but the crowdedness and brevity make it not worth it. Constantly having to speed up or slow down to accommodate huge groups - can't really enjoy the sights.

Quick, easy, family friendly trail. The creek is fun for kids to play in when there is enough water.

May 2018

In Giant city State Park is the Devil's Standtable Trail. From the paved parking lot cross the road and you'll be at this giant rock pinnacle in minutes. The best view is from behind the large wooden sign in the woods where you can stand beside the cliff for an unobstructed view/photo.

I drove to the Garden of the Gods Wilderness Area to hike. In the hotel that night I saw a commercial for Giant City State Park, which wasn't on my list of hikes, so I looked into it. Giant City State Park is in the middle of nowhere but is a hidden gem. I was very impressed by the quality of this park. All picnic areas were mowed, there were plenty of signs everywhere so you always knew where to go, and the overall condition of the park was excellent so I was glad that I came here. The Nature Trail has plenty of paved parking and an obvious trailhead with an information kiosk. A short walk leads to the loop and arrows direct trekkers in a CCW direction around the loop. For most of the loop the trail is wide and smooth and meanders through various rock canyons formed by large slabs of the cliff calving off making for some fun passages to explore. To me, as an out-of-stater, this would be the type of park that I would enjoy bringing my family to visit. I've written many reviews but this one is the first that I discussed not only the quality of the trail but also the quality of the park itself.

Loved this trail, starts out well groomed wide path, leads to impressive rock formations and “far-man” squeeze. Good work out with up hill segments. Took us 40 minutes.

I Brought 3 of my dogs and it was a lot of fun. Definitely would recommend it.

Fairly busy trail. Not a lot of privacy but it had beautiful sites of sandstone rock ledges surrounded in local history.

This is a really great trail. However listen to other reviewers and take the trail counter clockwise. I chose to take trail clockwise and spent excess time going up hills. I completed trail In 6 hours. I did stop at red cedar trail campground there are picnic tables, fire pits, and bathrooms. Brought quick snack to refuel for energy.

And completed the entire trail in 1 day (6 hours). If time was available I would have loved to spent the night at the campground. I will be back to try this trail again.

I saw several turkeys, squirrels, and birds. No snakes thank goodness.

Some trail tips take bug spray tick repellant. Bring extra water. Watch where you step on the rocks they are slippery. The trail for most part is well marked, there were a few points I had to look @ the map. The trail is marked with white diamond w a red circle. The trail does interloop with river to river trail and horse trail, just make sure to look for those white diamonds because they can be easy to miss if your looking at the beauty of the hike.

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