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Illinois

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1,458 mi 2,347 km of trail 33 Recommended Routes

Gems 8 Gems Easy Trails 430 Trails Intermediate Trails 157 Trails Hard Trails 18 Trails
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Gems in Illinois - 8

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gem Favorite Thunderbird Effigy Mound was constructed by Native Americans 1000 years ago, with over a 200 foot wingspan!

Thunderbird Effigy Mound

(1) Galena, IL
gem Favorite View of Burden Falls looking into breakdown.

Burden Falls

(3) Carrier…, IL
gem Favorite The Mississippi River meanders in the distance on a beautiful fall day.

Cooke Overlook

(3) Galena, IL
gem Favorite A rare ice climbing adventure in Southern Illinois.

Indian Kitchen

(2) Golconda, IL
gem Favorite The Mississippi River meanders in the distance on a beautiful fall day.

Council Ring

(3) Galena, IL
gem Favorite Taking a break in Saltpeter Cave.

Saltpeter Cave

(2) Harrisburg, IL
gem Favorite Just a walk through Lusk Wilderness

Secret Canyon

(2) Harrisburg, IL
gem Favorite Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

(2) Harrisburg, IL

Recommended Routes in Illinois - 33

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Favorite The trail is full of life and diversity.
Easy/Intermediate

The Chicago Outerbelt Route

208.3 mi 335.3 km 1,652' Up 503.43 m Up 1,651' Down 503.37 m Down

Chicago, IL
Favorite LaSalle Canyon Waterfall.
Intermediate

Starved Rock Loop

5.1 mi 8.1 km 493' Up 150.12 m Up 492' Down 149.9 m Down

Deer Park, IL
Favorite Oak trees begin to leaf out in a well-managed oak woodland. With plenty of sunlight, the spring wildflowers are abundant.
Intermediate

Sag Valley Main Trail

8.5 mi 13.6 km 364' Up 110.8 m Up 364' Down 111.01 m Down

Palos Park, IL
Favorite The water-eroded underside of one of the sandstone bluffs juts out over the riverbed trail.
Intermediate/Difficult

River To River Trail: Garden of the Gods Wilderness Section

5.4 mi 8.7 km 516' Up 157.15 m Up 654' Down 199.24 m Down

Rosiclare, IL
Favorite I lived 20 mins from this park until I was 19 years old. I never knew about it until I came back home when I was 30 years old. An overcast morning long exposure on the Canyon Trail.
Intermediate

Matthiessen State Park Loop

2.7 mi 4.4 km 164' Up 49.97 m Up 168' Down 51.09 m Down

Deer Park, IL
Favorite An algae covered pond along the Waterfall Glen Main Trail.
Easy/Intermediate

Waterfall Glen Main Trail

9.7 mi 15.6 km 259' Up 78.82 m Up 259' Down 78.83 m Down

Darien, IL
Favorite Watching the Chicago Air and Water show from the Lakefront. Near Diversey Ave looking south.
Easy/Intermediate

Chicago Lakefront Trail

18.4 mi 29.6 km 154' Up 47.07 m Up 150' Down 45.69 m Down

Lincoln…, IL
Favorite Blue Trail in the fall.
Intermediate/Difficult

Bullfrog Loop

7.4 mi 11.8 km 625' Up 190.36 m Up 624' Down 190.16 m Down

Willow…, IL

Trails in Illinois - 570

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3.0 mi 4.9 km #1Little Grand Canyon Loop
Intermediate/Difficult
Murphysboro, IL
Intermediate/Difficult
Murphysboro, IL 16 
1.9 mi 3.0 km #2Salt Lick Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Valmeyer, IL
Intermediate/Difficult
Valmeyer, IL
1.3 mi 2.1 km #3Trillium Trail
Difficult
Carbondale, IL
Difficult
Carbondale, IL
0.7 mi 1.1 km #4Indian Creek Trail
Difficult
Cobden, IL
Difficult
Cobden, IL
0.3 mi 0.5 km #5Merrill Woods Trail
Intermediate
Hanna City, IL
Intermediate
Hanna City, IL
2.0 mi 3.2 km #6Lyons Woods To Waukegan Savanna Trail
Easy
Beach Park, IL
Easy
Beach Park, IL
3.3 mi 5.3 km #7Trail B
Difficult
Marshall, IL
Difficult
Marshall, IL
0.7 mi 1.1 km #8Prairie Wolf Forest Preserve Trail
Easy
Bannockburn, IL
Easy
Bannockburn, IL
0.9 mi 1.4 km #9River Bluff Trail
Intermediate
Oakville, MO
Intermediate
Oakville, MO
1.7 mi 2.7 km #10State Farm Lake Trail
Easy
Bloomington, IL
Easy
Bloomington, IL
0.8 mi 1.3 km #11Nippersink Forest Preserve Trail
Easy
Round Lake, IL
Easy
Round Lake, IL
3.1 mi 5.0 km #12Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve Trail
Easy
Third Lake, IL
Easy
Third Lake, IL
2.1 mi 3.3 km #13Hastings Lake Blue Loop Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Lindenhurst, IL
Easy/Intermediate
Lindenhurst, IL
3.6 mi 5.8 km #14Trail 7
Intermediate
Metamora, IL
Intermediate
Metamora, IL
0.5 mi 0.8 km #15Observation Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Rosiclare, IL
Easy/Intermediate
Rosiclare, IL 13 
0.4 mi 0.7 km #16Fox River Forest Preserve Trail
Easy
Port Barrington, IL
Easy
Port Barrington, IL
2.9 mi 4.7 km #17Red Loop
Easy
Kildeer, IL
Easy
Kildeer, IL
2.9 mi 4.7 km #18Floodplain Trail
Easy
Hanna City, IL
Easy
Hanna City, IL
0.5 mi 0.9 km #19Half Day Forest Preserve Trail
Easy
Lincolnshire, IL
Easy
Lincolnshire, IL
2.3 mi 3.8 km #20Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Wadsworth, IL
Easy/Intermediate
Wadsworth, IL

Photos of Illinois - 384

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Some of the bizarre, organic shapes carved into the sandstone of the cliffs lining the riverbanks.
Oct 10, 2016 near Murphys…, IL
Looking south over Karber's Ridge.
Oct 24, 2017 near Rosiclare, IL
LaSalle Canyon Waterfall.
Jun 13, 2016 near Deer Park, IL
Galloping Hill Sunset (Fall 2019)
Apr 6, 2020 near East Du…, IL
I lived 20 mins from this park until I was 19 years old. I never knew about it until I came back home when I was 30 years old. An overcast morning long exposure on the Canyon Trail.
Sep 11, 2017 near Deer Park, IL
View of the park and river from the overlook along the River Bluff Trail at Cliff Cave County Park
Dec 29, 2015 near Oakville, MO
Waterfall leading down the canyon.
Jun 13, 2016 near Deer Park, IL
Bluff overlook along Salt Lick Point.
May 3, 2017 near Valmeyer, IL