With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. Giant City State Park is located at 235 Giant City Road in Makanda Illinois. For more information, click here.

Visitors will marvel at the many hiking trails. One of the most popular trails within the park is the Trillium Trail. The Trillium Trail is known for its towering bluffs, unique plant life, and dramatic rock formations. The trail also offers numerous scenic views.

Each season on Trillium Trail offers something different. In winter, many of the bluffs become visible and unique ice
formations appear. In the spring, enjoy wildflowers and breathtaking waterfalls. Summer brings lush green vegetation and cool blasts of air from between the rocks. The fall delivers bright colors of leaves visible from the bluffs.

The Trillium Trail is 2 miles in length and is considered rugged, due to its elevation changes and rocky surface. The trail takes about an hour to complete!

The trail takes guests through a nature preserve known as Fern Rocks Nature Preserve. The preserve is 110 acres of bluffs and forest that is designated as very high quality. In particular, the primary objectives of preserving this area were to protect the sandstone bluff and forest communities; and to protect two Illinois-endangered plant species.

The Trillium Trail is one of my favorite trails I have hiked however it can be dangerous as well. Be careful-steep cliffs are dangerous and sandstone can be slippery. Please stay on designated trails. Poison ivy exists on this trail. Copperhead snakes (venomous) hibernate in the sandstone bluffs.

The sandstone bluffs along the trail towering 80-100 feet above the forest floor are judged by geologists to be Pennsylvania era or around 250 million years old. The uplift, cracking, and crumpling of the Earth over millions of years formed the bluffs. Iron that occurred in the groundwater before the sand hardened formed deposits in the sandstone.

The trail is incredible and is one of the best in the area. This two mile stretch is loaded with bluffs, rock out croppings,  and even a few caves! My favorite part of this trail is that its less trafficked compared to some of the other more popular trails. During my time on the trail I only saw one other person.

Other trails worth visiting are the Giant City Nature Trail, The Devil’s SandTable Trail, and the Stone Fort Trail. All of these deserve a visit and offer stunning sites within the park.

If your looking for nearby lodging, click here. If you want to find more hidden gems nearby, click here. For the areas best family activities, click here.