Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

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.

Amazing trail. It is difficult, but definitely worth it.

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

This park and it's trails have always been a favorite of mine since the late '70's. The view at the top of the ridge is beautiful looking over both the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Unfortunately, I'm disappointed that the trails have not been kept up from the much erosion over the years, so there are deep ruts and the trail can be muddy and slippery after rain. Despite the eroding trails, I will continue to return for the wooded beauty and scenic views. In the meantime, hopefully, the State of Illinois will address their much deteriorated situations and keep their parks open.

Don't underestimate it. Starts off easy, then gets much more difficult. We picked a good day for this trail, but it would have been a lot harder if it was rainy or icy.

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)!

Beautiful all year round!

Not much to look at but a great dog park!

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

trail running
5 days ago

Great challenge!! It was a little difficult to follow the white diamonds to reach the other side once you got down into the canyon, but other than that it was a wonderful workout and a lovely hike.

Beautiful views. Not sure about the easy rating with the elevation climb, but I made it.

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.

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.

10 days ago

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

I only rate this as a moderate hike because of the distance. It is a very easy hike. The western side is the best part of the hike. I would hike counterclockwise to save the best for last. several backpack camps all with fire rings and tables. trail is easy to follow if you use their map.

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!

The rock formations are worth the hike.

11 days ago

If you cross the railroad tracks and go over to the Jackson Hollow side, the hike is even better. If you know where the other trails are in that area you can link them all together to make a nice weekend backpacking trip. It’s the best backpacking in the Shawnee. If you do Jackson Hollow stay near the cliffs. The trail is faint ever since they kicked horses out of that area. To cross the tracks, when the trail hits the tracks, turn left and walk down the tracks about 400 yards and you will see on the other side the place to cross into it. There is a large trail that runs down the bottom of the valley but you will want to get up by the cliffs. The Promise Land climbing area is over on that side of the tracks. My hike starts on the Jackson Hollow side crosses the tracks goes through the Jackson Falls area up the dog walk and back to our campsite. I’ve been hiking this area for about 50 years.

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