Explore the most popular waterfall 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.

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.

Always good to see after a rain

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!

8 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.

beautiful hike, very scenic.

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!

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.

12 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.

12 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.

A pretty easy trail to hike, well marked, alot of walkers and bikers, all friendly. Path became a little muddy after the morning thaw. Dog walkers need to clean up their furbabie's poop.
The waterfall is nice and worth the 9.3 mile loop.

16 days ago

This was a treat. We hike every New Years Day and have lived down here 40 years, but have never been here. Previous reviewers are correct on all points. Rough road to get there, though not muddy or impassable. Our CRV did fine. There are plenty of brown signs to get you there and GPS is on the money. Top of falls are right there but we saw no trail head sign and, in fact, never saw a blaze. We took right off on a path but were immediately off what I suspect is the loop, looking at the map here. We,as others did, walked the ridge top, lost the trail heading down to the creek and then followed the bottom of the bluffs up stream. That was fun! It rained the two days before and water was coming over the bluffs and through the sandstone. It was a cloudy day but he canyon is beautiful. We walked up to bottom of falls and then backtracked to where we were back on top and then walked back to top of falls. A little too much rain for us to safely ford the stream and we still are unclear where the loop goes. We will find out. We're going back!

One of the best views of the park!

Love it here. So much to do. Take your time and enjoy all of it!

Very beautiful but beginning to become run down due to increased foot traffic. Lots of garbage left everywhere.

Well blazed, but it was hard to see the path so we really had to focus on the blazes had to be careful near the rocky parts because it was raining.

One of my favorite places to go. When you catch it at a good time, the waterfall is amazing. It’s a very easy walk (and short) to get to the back, and once you are there you will want to stay and enjoy it!

Beautiful trail we actually accidentally found thinking it was the waterfall trail (it’s not lol). It isn’t really difficult, but lots of uphill areas that if you’re not used to that will get your huffing and puffing :) but it was so worth it. Well marked, so can’t really get lost!

Spend time camping in this area. Backpacking is good here, though I had trouble finding the primitive camping spots.... and the trails keep you moving and looking for more!
The sunsets are beautiful and the stars are bright here.

24 days ago

Great for biking and running but for a walker this is an easy boring path.


Easy walk. nice views.

Easy walk. nice views.

My favorite hike in the area! You get to climb through these incredible gorges and then see spectacular views...love it start to finish. Got a dog since the last time I tried it and not sure yet if a pup could handle some of the steeper rock descents.

nature trips
1 month ago

Love coming out here at all times of the year. Beautiful place.

First time on this trail and it did not disappoint. Wow, so much to look at. We went right after a few days of rain and while it was slick, still very manageable if you take your time and watch your steps. It took us about 2.5 hours to complete with a few breaks to admire everything around us. definitely recommend good waterproof shoes.

best nature trail I've found near Chicago

Excellent bluffage and unique rock formations for miles! Multiple nice waterfalls (all wet weather).

1 month ago

Decided to challenge ourselves to go for this 9ish miles trail during Thanksgiving weekend. Finished up around 3 and half hours. Enjoyed the trail very much, beautiful view, took bunches of photos on the way, though the trail is quite muddy after the rain.

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