Ferne Clyffe Falls is said to be the most visited waterfall in Illinois, and for good reason; you can actually walk behind this waterfall! Though the flow isn’t always consistent – try going after a big rain to see the most impressive falls – it’s beautiful no matter the weather. It’s fairly easy to get to as well, making it the perfect outing for families. To visit Ferne Clyffe State Park, drive south on IL-37 from Downtown Goreville. In just 2 minutes, you will arrive at the entrance to the park. To find another incredible southern Illinois hike, click here.
This 2400 acre park has incredible geological features that people have taken notice of for at least the past 100 years. There are picturesque woods that swirl through awesome rock formations. There are also some fantastic vistas. Unusual plants (including ferns) make it green and lush. But the main attraction at the park is no doubt the Ferne Clyffe Falls.
Begin your journey at the Big Rocky Hollow Trail. Don’t worry about difficulty; you’ll walk less than a mile round-trip to see the falls and get back to the car.
You’ll know you’ve reached your destination when you see the beautiful waterfall.
Ferne Clyffe Falls is divided into two parts. The main waterfall is 50 feet high, with water falling over the cliff. Then, the water cascades over smaller rocks for about 20 feet before resting in a shallow pool.
If you’re feeling adventurous, climb right up to the waterfall.
There’s room to walk in the crevice of the cliff, but you may have to crouch. Step carefully, as the rocks will be wet!
When you get behind the waterfall, look out on the park below.
Visitors can’t resist sticking their hands out to feel the water as it’s falling. If no one else is around, sit down for a bit and enjoy the water falling around you.
Even the less adventurous among us can enjoy the lower falls.
To visit Ferne Clyffe State Park, drive south on IL-37 from Downtown Goreville. In just 2 minutes, you will arrive at the entrance to the park.
To find another incredible southern Illinois hike, click here.