Whether you want to hike or bike, and whether you are in great shape or not, there is a wonderful hiking trail in Illinois for you. Last year, we
profiled some of the best trails in Illinois. This year, we are highlighting some of our favorites, as well as some new ones you should check out.
1. Tunnel Hill State Trail (Southern Illinois)
This massive trail stretches 45 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak. It has 23 trestle bridges and winds through ghosts towns.
2. Mississippi Palisades State Park (Savanna)
There are 15 miles of trails here for you to explore. Those are split up into trails of around 3 miles. There are 4 overlooks for you to see the Mississippi River in a way you never have before.
3. Dixon Springs State Park (Golconda)
This state park is in the Shawnee Hills of Illinois, and there are two nice hiking trails for you to explore. It is not the largest park, but it is not the most populated ever, so you are sure to have a relaxing time.
4. Starved Rock State Park (Utica)
This state park has many trails that interconnect, so you can truly go as far or short as you want. There are loads of canyons, caves, and waterfalls for you to see, as well as scenic overlooks of the Illinois River.
5. Rim Rock Recreation Trail (Harrisburg)
This trail might be the most scenic on the list, leading you along the rim of a rock escarpment. There is a lower trail and upper trail. We like the lower trail because you can really take in massive hardwood trees.
6. Matthiessen State Park (North Utica)
Waterfalls, dells and giant pools make this a stunning place to hike through. You will especially love a scenic overlook 150 feet above the Vermillion River.
7. Castle Rock State Park (Oregon)
This area is characterized by its rolling topography and sandstone bluffs. Many miles of trails wind you through the woods. If you're lucky, you can see some bald eagles.
8. Buffalo Rock State Park (Ottawa)
This park offers a 3.3 mile trail that offers awesome views of the Illinois River from some overlooks. If that's not enough for you, you can get hooked up with the I&M Canal Trail. But the reason people come here is to see the two resident bison.
9. Apple River Canyon (Apple River)
With its limestone bluffs and deep ravines, Apple River Canyon is one of the more scenic canyons in Illinois. Take in streams, springs and all sorts of wildlife. There are 5 trails for you to explore.
10. Cave in Rock State Park (Cave in Rock)
There is more to this state park than this giant cave. Located off the scenic Ohio River, there are some spectacular views. Trails wind through a picturesque forest.
11. Ferne Clyffe State Park (Goreville)
This park is awesome and filled with trails: 18 to be exact. You can see everything from lakes, fields, and waterfalls.
12. Giant City State Park (Makanda)
Giant City has a 13.3 mile trail. People love the Giant City Nature Trail. Take in the huge bluffs of sandstone.