Happy Hollow Loop
ElevationAscent: 504' 154 m
Descent: -504' -154 m
High: 771' 235 m
Low: 450' 137 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)
Popular runs nearby
Shawnee Hills 50K
32.8 mi 52.7 km • Loop • 3,566 ft Ascent 1086.85 m Ascent
East Trigg to Millstone Lake
5.2 mi 8.4 km • Loop • 499 ft Ascent 152.05 m Ascent
4.5 mi 7.2 km • Loop • 410 ft Ascent 125.04 m Ascent
Little Cedar Lake
5.9 mi 9.5 km • Loop • 582 ft Ascent 177.46 m Ascent
Indian Kitchen Loop
4.8 mi 7.8 km • Loop • 359 ft Ascent 109.35 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“A longer loop with optional horseback riding.”— Robert Heins
The descent from the Happy Hollow Campground is a rather impressive 15+ percent grade. Keep a little fuel in the tank for that climb on the way back. The trail from the Goreville Trailhead is a longer, more gradual grade. The trailhead south of Blackjack Oak Trail is quite a bit milder.
Once down, I always go counter-clockwise along the creek, but clockwise also works. You'll have one easy crossing of the creek.
The four-way junction at the north end of the loop is the join point for the River to River Trail, the Goreville Trailhead, and the two legs of Happy Hollow itself. It's easy to get turned around here if you're coming counter-clockwise from the Happy Hollow Campsite Trailhead. You'll want the leftmost trail, the one turning almost due west. If you go due east from this junction, you'll hit the trailhead south of Blackjack Oak Trail.
Along the west side of the loop, you'll encounter a nice little stone arch, which is best first viewed coming clockwise around the trail. Going clockwise will also allow you to climb the steepest portion of the trail, the far southwestern edge. Take this portion with caution, it can be tricky.
Once you've passed that section, continuing counter-clockwise will put you back on mostly flat, level ground. This is going to be the muddiest portion of the trail, with frequent areas that are going to have standing water/small trickles coming down from above. If you're steady/have good trekking poles, you can get through here without making a complete mess of yourself.
This flat area will take you back along the creek bed, with a single easy crossing to bring you back to the east side. The trail back to the Happy Hollow parking lot is marked by a "Primitive camping" sign with an arrow. The trail prior to that is to the horse camping area.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: Illinois DNR - Ferne Clyffe State Park