Illinois State Parks Trails

To find trails in Illinois state parks for activities such as hiking and biking, select a region or trail below.

Starved Rock State Park-East Hike :: Utica, IL

This eastern section of Starved Rock State Park offers canyons galore, each with slightly different shapes, sizes, and colorings. Cool and shady, overgrown with ferns, trees, and flowering plants, the numerous canyons on this hike are a delight to ex

Starved Rock State Park-West Hike :: Utica, IL

After hiking through deep sandstone canyons, you’ll encounter a series of overlooks from the wooded bluffs and rocky cliffs high above the Illinois River. This classic northeastern Illinois hike requires considerable stair climbing. Dogs must be l

Matthiessen State Park-Dells Area Hike :: Utica, IL

Formerly a private retreat for a local industrialist, Matthiessen State Park features a narrow, mile-long canyon carved in sandstone by a stream. Beginning at the dam and lake at one end of the canyon, you’ll encounter a couple of dramatic waterfalls

Gebhard Woods State Park :: Joliet, IL

Nettle Creek winds around this open, grassy tenting campground. The camping area, which requires a one-third-mile hike from the parking lot, is shaded by mature oaks. Gebhard Woods is a small but active park that abuts residential areas in the town o

Channahon State Park :: Joliet, IL

This small park is a favorite local spot to pick up the 61-mile I&M Canal Trail on its way from Joliet to LaSalle. In addition to hosting the trail, the park features an attractive picnic area and a well-shaded open campground for tent camping. The c

Illinois Beach State Park :: Chicago, IL

More than sixty of the sites within this large, well-loved campground are within 200 feet of the wide sandy beach. The campground is flat with stands of oak trees offering ample shade and snatches of privacy. The park’s many trails provide a brea

Chain O’ Lakes State Park :: Chicago, IL

As the largest state park in northern Illinois, Chain O’ Lakes offers plenty of scenic vistas: expansive wetlands, gently rolling prairies, pleasant wooded areas, and a peaceful stretch of the Fox River. The campgrounds, located at the southern tip o

Shabbona Lake State Park :: Chicago, IL

While a few of the campsites offer great views of Shabbona Lake from a small grassy hilltop above the lake, most of the sites are tucked away in a pleasing wooded environment further from the lake. Trees and shrubs provide plenty of shade, as well as

I&M Canal Trail: Buffalo Rock State Park :: Joliet, IL

These three hike-in camping areas are located in scenic spots on the shore of a small lake and alongside a stretch of Illinois River backwater. To the north, beyond a sprawling wetland laden with cattails, you’ll catch glimpses of exposed sandstone a

Starved Rock State Park :: Chicago, IL

Many of the campsites at Illinois’ most popular state park are perched on the upper edge of a ravine; some border nearby prairie and savanna. Generally, the sites are flat, partially shaded, and open; many are fairly private with ample space between

Mississippi Palisades State Park :: Galena, IL

The 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is one of the sparkling jewels in the crown of the Illinois state park system. The park is chock-full of deep wooded ravines, slopes peppered with ferns and wildflowers, rocky limestone outcroppings, an

Apple River Canyon State Park :: Galena, IL

This off-the-beaten-path campground offers one of the most beautiful settings in northern Illinois. The campsites are nicely spaced out; thick groves of oak and maple provide campers with plenty of shade and privacy. The park is bisected by the Apple

Le-Aqua-Na State Park :: Freeport, IL

The camping areas at this 715-acre state park are situated on a wooded hill above the pleasant human-made lake that serves as the centerpiece for the park. Campsites are shaded and ample. Hikers can circumnavigate the forty-acre lake on trails that r

Morrison Rockwood State Park :: Rock Falls, IL

One of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in northern Illinois, this well-kept park focuses on Lake Carlton, a stream-fed reservoir considered a prime fishing spot. Trails for hikers and equestrians crisscross the park’s 1,164 acres of rol

Prophetstown State Park :: Prophetstown, IL

Once the site of a Native American village, this fifty-three-acre park on the shore of the Rock River is located at the edge of the small village of Prophetstown. Stately specimens of maple, cottonwood, oak, walnut, and locust trees shade the open ca

White Pines State Park :: Rockford, IL

This charming 385-acre park invites visitors to explore the hilly terrain, traverse the many log footbridges over Pine and Spring Creeks, and trace the route of the creeks as they flow past moss- and vine-covered limestone cliffs. From the semi-open

Lowden State Park :: Rockford, IL

The campground, located on a bluff above the Rock River, offers sites that are well shaded and semi-open. Many campsites are close to the day-use area; look closer to the river for more secluded spots. Considered one of the most beautiful settings al

Rock Cut State Park :: Rockford, IL

Rock Cut State Park is a large park packed with trails, fishing spots, and picnic areas. In addition to hills, creeks, and a couple of lakes, the park contains large swaths of rehabilitated prairie, where you’ll find wildflowers such as compass plant

Campanula Trail :: Starved Rock State Park, IL

Campanula Trail is a hiking trail in LaSalle County, Illinois. It is within Starved Rock State Park. It is 0.5 miles long and begins at 539 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 214 feet. The French Can

Wildcat Canyon - Upper Bridge :: Starved Rock State Park, IL

Wildcat Canyon - Upper Bridge is a hiking trail in LaSalle County, Illinois. It is within Starved Rock State Park. It is 50 feet long and begins at 538 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 4 feet. The

Saint Louis Canyon Trail :: Starved Rock State Park, IL

Saint Louis Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in LaSalle County, Illinois. It is within Starved Rock State Park. It is 0.3 miles long and begins at 491 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 159 feet. The t

Hickory Ridge Trail :: Cave In Rock State Park, IL

Hickory Ridge Trail is a hiking trail in Hardin County, Illinois. It is within Cave In Rock State Park. It is 335 feet long and begins at 471 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 13 feet. Near the trai

Sunset Nature Trail :: Apple River Canyon State Park, IL

Sunset Nature Trail is a hiking trail in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. It is within Apple River Canyon State Park. It is 0.5 miles long and begins at 801 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 285 feet. N

River Route Nature Trail :: Apple River Canyon State Park, IL

River Route Nature Trail is a hiking trail in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. It is within Apple River Canyon State Park. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 808 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 248 fe

Tower Rock Nature Trail :: Apple River Canyon State Park, IL

Tower Rock Nature Trail is a hiking trail in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. It is within Apple River Canyon State Park. It is 0.3 miles long and begins at 906 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 45 feet

Pine Trail :: Mississippi Palisades State Park, IL

Pine Trail is a hiking trail in Carroll County, Illinois. It is within Mississippi Palisades State Park. It is 0.3 miles long and begins at 826 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 240 feet. Near the t

Bittersweet Trail :: Mississippi Palisades State Park, IL

Bittersweet Trail is a hiking trail in Carroll County, Illinois. It is within Mississippi Palisades State Park. It is 1.4 miles long and begins at 636 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 501 feet.

Sentinel Trail :: Mississippi Palisades State Park, IL

Sentinel Trail is a hiking trail in Carroll County, Illinois. It is within Mississippi Palisades State Park. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 619 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 510 feet. Sentin

Aspen Trail :: Mississippi Palisades State Park, IL

Aspen Trail is a hiking trail in Carroll County, Illinois. It is within Mississippi Palisades State Park. It is 1.3 miles long and begins at 634 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 339 feet.

Lake Defiance Trail :: Moraine Hills State Park, IL

Lake Defiance Trail is a hiking and biking trail in McHenry County, Illinois. It is within Moraine Hills State Park. It is 2.1 miles long and begins at 778 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 20 feet.

Leatherleaf Bog Trail (3.2 Mi) / Lake Defiance Trail (3.7 Mi) :: Moraine Hills State Park, IL

Leatherleaf Bog Trail (3.2 Mi) / Lake Defiance Trail (3.7 Mi) is a hiking and biking trail in McHenry County, Illinois. It is within Moraine Hills State Park. It is 0.5 miles long and begins at 739 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is a mile

Leatherleaf Bog Trail :: Moraine Hills State Park, IL

Leatherleaf Bog Trail is a hiking and biking trail in McHenry County, Illinois. It is within Moraine Hills State Park. It is 0.1 miles long and begins at 755 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 15 fee

Fox River Trail (2.0 Mi) :: Moraine Hills State Park, IL

Fox River Trail (2.0 Mi) is a hiking and biking trail in McHenry County, Illinois. It is within Moraine Hills State Park. It is 2.2 miles long and begins at 738 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 220

Leatherleaf Bog Trail (3.2 Mi) :: Moraine Hills State Park, IL

Leatherleaf Bog Trail (3.2 Mi) is a hiking and biking trail in McHenry County, Illinois. It is within Moraine Hills State Park. It is 2.7 miles long and begins at 745 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.4 miles with a total elevation gain

Perryville Path :: Rock Cut State Park, IL

Perryville Path is a hiking and biking trail in Winnebago County, Illinois. It is within Rock Cut State Park. It is 6.7 miles long and begins at 869 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 13.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 647 feet. Alon

Willow Creek Trail :: Rock Cut State Park, IL

Willow Creek Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Winnebago County, Illinois. It is within Rock Cut State Park. It is 2.9 miles long and begins at 740 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 242 feet.

Illinois Prairie Path Elgin Branch :: James "Pate" Philip State Park, IL

Illinois Prairie Path Elgin Branch is a hiking and biking trail in Kane County and DuPage County, Illinois. It is within James "Pate" Philip State Park. It is 13.0 miles long and begins at 708 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 15.2 miles w

Dune Trail :: Illinois Beach State Park North, IL

Dune Trail is a hiking trail in Lake County, Illinois. It is within Illinois Beach State Park North. It is two miles long and begins at 586 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 113 feet. Near the trail

Dead River Trail :: Illinois Beach State Park North, IL

Dead River Trail is a hiking trail in Lake County, Illinois. It is within Illinois Beach State Park North. It is 0.8 miles long and begins at 589 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 65 feet. Near the

Oak Ridge Trail :: Illinois Beach State Park North, IL

Oak Ridge Trail is a hiking trail in Lake County, Illinois. It is within Illinois Beach State Park North. It is 0.6 miles long and begins at 589 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 50 feet. Near the t

Beach Trail :: Illinois Beach State Park North, IL

Beach Trail is a hiking trail in Lake County, Illinois. It is within Illinois Beach State Park North. It is a mile long and begins at 586 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 57 feet. The Illinois Beac

Chain O' Lakes State Park Trail :: , IL

Chain O' Lakes State Park Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Lake County and McHenry County, Illinois. It is 3.2 miles long and begins at 810 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 514 feet.

Lake Defiance Trail (3.7 Mi) :: Moraine Hills State Park, IL

Lake Defiance Trail (3.7 Mi) is a hiking and biking trail in McHenry County, Illinois. It is within Moraine Hills State Park. It is 1.6 miles long and begins at 735 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.7 miles with a total elevation gain of

Kankakee River State Park :: Joliet, IL

Both campgrounds at this park are located on the tops of bluffs above the Kankakee River. Most sites are clustered together in fairly tight arrangements. The Potawatomi Campground offers shaded sites closer to the river and further from IL 102. This

Weldon Springs State Park :: Decatur, IL

In the early twentieth century, Weldon Springs served as the site for popular annual chautauquas, which brought people from the region to see speakers and entertainers. Now the park hosts a bevy of recreational activities—many geared toward families.

Kickapoo State Park :: Danville, IL

It’s hard to believe that all the scenic lakes and wooded hills at Kickapoo State Park were once home to an extensive strip-mining operation. Now that the prairie, ponds, and hilly woodland have been restored, it’s one of the most popular state parks

Lincoln Trail State Park :: Effingham, IL

Named after the local route that Abraham Lincoln’s family followed from Indiana to Illinois in 1831, this 1,000-acre park contains an attractive, many-fingered lake. The large RV camping area is flat and fairly open with ample shade provided by plant

Fox Ridge State Park :: Charleston, IL

Set amidst rolling hills along the forested bluffs of the Embarras River, Fox Ridge State Park stands in sharp contrast to the flat prairies of most of this part of Illinois. The campground features well-spaced, fairly private sites shaded with maple

Eagle Creek State Park :: Decatur, IL

Eagle Creek State Park occupies a peninsula nearly 2 miles long in the midsection of Lake Shelbyville. The main camping area—open and partially shaded—is surrounded by an attractive savanna and prairie on one side and oak-hickory woods on the other.

Wolf Creek State Park :: Decatur, IL

Located on one of the many scenic, wooded peninsulas on Lake Shelbyville, this sprawling campground seems to have an endless number of sites. The camping area is mostly shaded, flat, and fringed by attractive oak-hickory woods. Other parts of the