12 Scenic Trails To Explore In Illinois, One For Each Month Of The Year

Opportunities to hike throughout the year abound in the Prairie State. Whether you wish to see a waterfall, wildflowers, or a vista from an overlook, here are the 12 best scenic hikes in Illinois, one for each month of the year.

What do you think of these scenic hikes in Illinois? Have you hiked any of them? Let us know in the comments! You can also share your love of the great outdoors with fellow nature enthusiasts in our Illinois Nature Lovers Facebook group.

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Scenic Hikes in Illinois

December 22, 2022

What are some short-and-sweet scenic hikes in Illinois?

If you're yearning to hit the trails but don't have all day to devote to a trek, check out these short-and-sweet hikes in Illinois, all of which clock in under five miles and are located in some of the most scenic places in the state.

  • Garden of the Gods. The trail going around the main observation area is around a third of a mile. There are other trails that take you further around the grounds.
  • Illinois Beach State Park. This state park offers 6.5 miles of Lake Michigan shores for you to enjoy. Whether you want to hike it all or just take a relaxing walk over part is totally up to you. Enjoy every minute- this is one of the most scenic hikes in Illinois!
  • Matthiessen State Park.This beautiful state park will surprise you, as it has gorgeous canyons and waterfalls just like its sister park to the north (Starved Rock). Enjoy bridges, streams, and even prairie while hiking at this scenic state park in Illinois!