Central IL Resources

Local Hiking Groups

Education

Favorite Nature Trails

  • Allerton has several great trails. We love:

    *Sunsinger trail, which is about 5 miles. The trail itself is relatively level, making it an easier hike. The hike lasts about 1.5 hours, depending on the pace. Start at the North Entrance parking lot and head through the formal gardens. Loop around the Sunsinger and back on the trail toward the parking lot.

    *North side figure 8 of the red and blue trails, which makes a decent 6 miles. The trail is also relatively level, making it an easier hike. This hike takes about 2 hours, depending on the pace. Start at the Buck Schroth parking lot.

    Trail descriptions – http://allerton.illinois.edu/natural-areas/trail-descriptions/
    Map – http://allerton.illinois.edu/wp-content/themes/allerton/downloads/APRC_map_brochure_spring2010.pdf

  • Homer Lake. This hike follows trail F over to Collins Pond and back. Approximately 6 miles and should last about 2 hours. Begin at the West Lake Trail Lot off of County Highway 14, north of the main entrance. (please refer to the map)

    Map – http://ccfpd.org/Maps/HomerLake_Map.pdf

  • Kickapoo‘s Out and Back trail! This is an easy to moderate 7 mile trail that usually takes a touch more than 2 hours to hike. Some areas of the trail can be wet, so it’s always good to wear appropriate footwear. Start at the park office – the trail begins across the street. Just look for the sign.

    Terrible outdated trail map! It shows the park office location, however, which is still accurate. The Out and Back trail is completely different now, because the bridge over the river is no longer viable.
    http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/PARKS/sitemaps/kickapoo.gif

  • Kennekuk County Park has the 7.5 mile Lake Mingo Trail. There are numerous hills, 9 bridges, and marshland, which should make for a more challenging but beautiful hike.

    Map – http://www.vccd.org/kennmap.pdf

  • Turkey Run is an incredible park that is just over the border in Indiana. It has some gorgeous trails that take you through canyons, stream beds and forest. Wear waterproof boots in the winter and water shoes in the summer. We love trail #3 and #9 the best. Connect multiple trails to get some miles in.

    Trail descriptions – http://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com/hiking_trails/index.htm

  • Clinton Lake North Fork trail is a strenuous 10 miles with lots of ups and downs, and trekking poles are recommended. It takes a solid 5 hours, with a snack break in the middle. We love this hike – its a real challenge in beautiful surroundings. Begin at the “North Fork Boat Access” on the left side of the map, by taking 54 to Power Rd. to Northfork Rd.

    Map – http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/FactSheets/Documents/ClintonLakeHunterMap.pdf

  • Forest Glen Preserve has the terrific River Ridge Backpack Trail. This is an 11 mile hike with challenging climbs and valleys, therefore trekking poles are encouraged. This trail can require some wet crossings, so please choose appropriate footwear. This hike will likely take 6 hours. Start at the Staff Office parking lot, as seen on the map. There is a nominal charge to use the trail. Check the website for fees.

    Map – http://files.meetup.com/1388043/highres_7188922.jpeg

  • Lake Shelbyville hosts the challenging Chief Illini Trail. This is an 11 mile end to end trail with numerous up and down sections and is probably the most difficult trail in the area. The trail roughly follows the shoreline of Lake Shelbyville. This is not a looped trail, however, and requires car shuttling at either end. Trekking poles are strongly encouraged. Start at the Lone Point Recreation boat ramp and finish at the parking lot in Eagle Creek Park.

    Trail description – http://www.lakeshelbyville.com/recreation.htm

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