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.

kids like to roller skating as the whole path is paved

fun hikes at Ballard nature center . this one is a little long for my kids they start asking if where there yet but a nice hike. we tend to stick to shorter trails at Ballard but they like the nature center alot

my kids love this trail best in summer because they love to play in the creeks that wind through the hollwers. The rock over hangs over the creeks are beautiful. I recommend it for a nice leisure hike for kids a fun kid hike.

This is one of my favorite Lake Country trails - the scenery is beautiful and I loved walking along the river.

Dense snow 15 degrees

If you’re looking for a quiet place this is it! As soon as you get out of your car it’s peaceful!

I plan on doing a section hike of the AT in about 18 months. I would like to do the River to River all the way through to prepare. It's close to where I live. I wouldn't mind others tagging along.

4 days ago

Beautiful snowy day so the trail was covered but packed well. Not a lot of hikers on a January Thursday morning. Recommend YakTrax during days like today. Scenery was pleasant. Trail was well kept. Everyone in the group seemed happy with the trail.

This was during the shutdown and gates closed. Only adds 4/10’s of a mile to the hike. Took the upper left trail and came back up the lower right side. Don’t pass this one up if visiting Garden of the Gods!

great local trail for a few hours hike

Great trail. I ran it in the snow and I missed a turn and ended up cutting across the golf course. Nevertheless, loved it. Several flocks of snow geese flew over during my run,which is something you don’t see every day!

Always good to see after a rain

8 days ago

Great trail. One of my new favorites around. Went right after it snowed. With a good set of crampons we had no issue hiking her. I would certainly come back here to hike again or come back with my mountain bike. Only issue with this trail is markings are hard to follow at some points. Also the sound of gun shots so close while you’re trying to enjoy the woods can be a little unnerving.

Beautiful scenery, perfect for families & various fitness levels.

Great little trail.

Great pathway for a quick run!

I definitely recommend going down the hilly trail first, ending with the look out point and hill up to the exit if you want an easier route. Steep waterfall filled trails are breathtaking but can be extremely slippery when wet. Hike with caution!

10 days ago

Pushed myself and hiked the entirety in 6 days. Waking up on a misty morning in Panther's Den with no one else around was the highlight. Hiked it in late March, so the weather was perfect and I enjoyed and nice cigar before heading down to the Mississippi. I'd definitely do it again, but there are many more trails to hike.

very pretty walk. great for kids.

All of Starved Rock is great. This trail shows some of the best in the park. NIce combined trail

About as good of a view as one can find in Illinois!

Nice peaceful lake trail

Very flat, kinda boring. I wish there were more views of the lake. Also don’t go alone, I didn’t feel completely safe. Extremely muddy patches

Super easy and short. This is a weather dependent hike and you can call to find out if the confluence is open because of flooding.

Do not bring big dogs unless you plan on going the long way around. It was near impossible lifting my 90lb. dog up some very steep cliffs. Also this map is not as accurate for making your way down to the falls. Follow the trail markers.

Beautiful winter hike! The trail was well maintained though not marked. It isn't a long hike, but it has some steep climbs to get your heart pounding, as well as diverse and unusual habitats. The steep prairies are breathtaking and unlike anything I've seen elsewhere. I'd like to come back in the summer to see the wildflowers in bloom. This hike was okay with dogs; I wouldn't take small kids, though.

We started the loop by taking the stairs heading southeast. You'll quickly get to the prairie, then turn away from the bluffs and walk through a forest on the spine of a ridge that loops around a hollow. When you reach the prairie again, be sure to take the spur that leads straight toward the bluff before doubling back to the main trail, which leads back down to the parking lot.

15 days ago

The coal mine was a neat feature of the park. The trail to the mine entrance ran along, and sometimes through, the small stream, which made this a fair bit muddy as well. Several large blowdowns also added to the difficulty.

15 days ago

Super muddy, trekking poles saved me from falling four times. Definitely not for someone with limited mobility. As you ascend the first hill from the parking area, nearing the rope hand hold, follow the rocks up to the ditch along to the right. This meets up with the trail and is a bit less muddy. Once you arrive at the T, take a left and a small bench and sign post let you know where to turn towards the glen. Peoria is lucky to have this available for access.

In my opinion, the best trails in the preserve are through the maple and oak forest north of the entrance. Great hiking throughout the year on these trails. You can also ride your bike through the forest north all the way to Blackwell Forest Preserve.

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