Explore the most popular walking 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.

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.

1 day 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.

Trail was really great, but it was really hard to find in the beginning. We went in the wrong direction and hit "no trespassing" signs after about half a mile. The trails are also not very well marked. It can also get pretty muddy in places.

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.

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!

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

It’s great except there are barely any trash cans along the way. So if your dog poops and you’re a decent human who picks it up, you’ll be carrying that poo bag with you on your journey for quite a while.

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

trail running
2 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.

Really lovely trail all along the way. Easy to follow except at the stream crossings. There are no bridges so if the water is up like it was for us you will need to wade. I built a rocky causeway to pass the first crossing upstream but the downstream crossing was much too deep and we had to get our feet wet. The spring is not visible from the trail and appears on the map to source several miles away which may be visible from another road which passes through that way(just by visual inspection on a map). The trail was easy to follow in most places though some spots we lost it due to sharp turns and lack of arrows indicating the proper path which caused us to do some unnecessary ledge crawling. The sentry bluff trail(Blue diamonds) travels along with part of the Natural bridge trail(Yellow Diamonds) close to the parking area where the natural bridge can be seen across the creek. However unless coming in a dry/low water season you will be getting your feet wet to see the natural bridge or to hike any trails on the other side of the stream. Both the entire length of the sentry trail we took and the finale of the natural bridge at the end were stunningly beautiful. A spraying water fall into the keyhole of the natural bridge gave rise to a small rainbow next to a a large snaking tree which climbed the height of the bridge into the canopy above.
Definitely well worth the visit. Better trail marking in places and bridges for stream crossings would make my 5 star review.

5 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.

7 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.

Nice hike up a drainage following a small creek.

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.

8 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!

9 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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