Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve

Willisville, Illinois 62997

Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve

Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve. Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Piney Creek Ravine’s secretive canyons hide the biggest display of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs in Illinois. When you descend into the enchanting canyons at Piney Creek, you’ll be awed by the natural beauty that inspired the ancients’ creativity."

Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve. Trip Reports

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4/18/2009
My 13 year old daughter and I hiked from South to North, we made it in just under 5 hours. The Rockwood reservation portion is less challenging than the South end of the trail, fewer steep grades. A beautiful and well maintained trail (thank you Boy Scouts), a must do for hikers in the area. As good as it gets for a Missouri trail.
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11/3/2006
For hardcore trail running in St. Louis, this is the best challenge/training.(Lewis & Clark second (if only Pere Marquette were closer.)) You can run the full out-and-back in 4-5 hours, depending on ability. Nice flat stretch in the middle, but otherwise quite hilly. Isolation, too.
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8/28/2005
We did a hike of this trail in July as a prep for a backpacking trip in August in Colorado. We hiked it straight thru with light backpacks.

It is a very enjoyable trail. It is well marked and has a diversity of scenery. It is one of the best hiking trails in the St. Louis area.

We hiked it on a day that was hot and humid. We started early in the morning. We needed and used plenty of water.
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7/5/2005
I recently hiked Green Rock trail for the first time and now believe that it is the best trail in St. Louis area. My previous favorite was Lewis and Clark, but Lewis part of trail has become overgrown with weeds. Anyway, Green Rock provides plenty of endurance challenges. If you are doing one way or shuttle, I suggest starting at Rockwoods Reservation, where the trail is more difficult, and finishing at Fox Creek road. The trail is well marked in both directions. My congratulations to the boy scouts who cut this trail back in the 60's.
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8/20/2003
Green Rock is a challenge. In many places it's simply lovely. You walk through varied terrain and there are a few spots that are very challenging. You do feel isolated, and we rarely encounter other hikers. Some of the gorges on the Rockwoods Reservation side are little spots of heaven. It's maintained by the Boy Scouts, and you have to hand it to them -- they've done a great job. It's rocky with some very steep places, so it's not for the faint of heart. You encounter civilization often enough that you appreciate disappearing on the trail even more. At one point you round a corner and you just might hear the sound of a train roaring followed by shrieks...fellow hikers being stalked by Sasquatch? Nope -- you're right behind Six Flags and you've just heard the roller coaster. My favorite spot is the Greensfelder Round House memorial. Climb on the low wall and admire the vista. What fortunate people the Greensfelders were to live in such a spot. And how lucky we are they donated it to us in this area.
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4/15/2000
First:HS elite distance runner, injured before track senior year. Was always into wts-multiple records (DEADLIFT) American Drug Free Pworlifting A.
Ran for 9 months in 1999-2000(39) down 30lbs to 220. Too big to be much off a runner.
I had been running a great trail I loved once a week when lifting.
Wanted a challenging run.
Obtained map of 12 mile green rock. This is a great trail since after two hours of running, I still felt fresh, that ended soon! beffore 5.2m I adding another mile and a half since I took a rong turn. About 2:15 hours into run my wt and need for fluids hit me so hard I started to panic. This is deep woods, Am I on the right trail? Since my map of the old 12 mile greenrock had disinigrated at 4 miles, very humid day, around75F. I would get up to the top of a valley go across some road, than down, down to the bottom forever then up,up again. This keeps up forever it seems that it will never end. I was not prepared for such wilderness since I had been running 5.2 mile and an 8.2, the later always kicked my butt though I knew I was on the right trail for those two. I had a person at the actual start of the trail, she had dopped me off at the end.
I was waisted, lost over 10lbs in fluids. Now just walking, my HR was tackeyed to 190, I wanted to lay down(not good idea), though since I thought I was lost and on the correct trail at the same time. This taught me that you need to be prepaired on a long trail that you are unfamiliar with.
I was in so much pain, I could not catch my breath, my HR was out of control.
After walking anoth 40 minuites I reached the end at the trail head, was dri-heaving at end-so good to see our car and her. I did finish it in 3 hours. though nothing compared to my early life. Ran twice the distance before track season @18, ST. Louis marathon-jogged 2:54:04.
Find the 12 mile map for quite a hike-Greenrock was an experience.
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Trail Information

Willisville
Nearby City
2.25
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
2–3 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Welge USGS topo
Local Maps

Trail Log