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Little Grand Canyon Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (17)

A short loop through some of Southern Illinois' interesting geology.


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Map Key

3.0

Miles

4.9

KM

86%

Runnable

738' 225 m

High

373' 114 m

Low

529' 161 m

Up

527' 161 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Description

A pleasant and rewarding loop starting from the Little Grand Canyon parking lot on Hickory Ridge, the trail first winds along the forested ridge before taking a slippery scramble down the carved sandstone canyon into the eastern portion of the Little Grand Canyon. (Take care, as the seasonal water causes moss to grow in the creekbed and makes this a slippery climb down!) Heading west toward the Big Muddy River, the canyon is full of interesting sandstone bluffs, with intricate formations carved from the side of the bluffs by the years.

As the canyon opens out, the trail turns away from the flood plain and climbs steeply up Chalk Bluff, another potentially slippery scramble. The views from the top of the bluff out to the west are lovely. The trail completes its loop following a gently rolling path along Viney Ridge before returning to the parking lot and picnic area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ryan Georgi with improvements by Amie S

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 17 votes

#277

Overall
  4.6 from 17 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
6%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Illinois

#277

Overall
65 Views Last Month
2,507 Since Oct 10, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Some of the bizarre, organic shapes carved into the sandstone of the cliffs lining the riverbanks.
Oct 10, 2016 near Murphys…, IL
The quiet, forested ridgeline leading away from the Parking lot.
Oct 10, 2016 near Murphys…, IL
View from the Chalk Bluff out across the Big Muddy River valley and beyond.
Oct 10, 2016 near Murphys…, IL
Small falls like this are a scenic treat!
Oct 26, 2016 near Murphys…, IL
Admiring some of the features in the Little Grand Canyon.
Oct 26, 2016 near Murphys…, IL
The slick scramble down from the ridge into the canyon.
Oct 10, 2016 near Murphys…, IL

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