There are many miles of diverse hiking and backpacking trails in the Shawnee National Forest including the 160-mile River to River Trail.
One of the most photographed locations in the state, Garden of the Gods’ scenic beauty is extraordinary. In the recreation area you can hike, camp, nature watch or picnic.
The Observation Trail features unique sandstone rock formations and panoramic views of the surrounding Garden of the God Wilderness. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. The 1/4-mile trail is made of natural sandstone and takes about an hour to walk. It contains short, steep grades and steps; benches are located along the trail and as a whole the trail is not tiring. Caution should be used due to the high cliffs in the area.
With 23 miles of flowing waterway, Nippersink Creek is the largest tributary to the Fox River.
Paddle through restored prairies and wetlands that offer plenty of sunshine and expansive vistas. Look down into the clear waters to catch glimpses of any one of 40+ species of fish that travel through; and watch and listen for birds of all kinds, especially Red-winged blackbirds who perch on the plant stalks near the banks, or swallows that skim over the water catching bugs. Great blue herons and white egrets are plentiful while kingfishers may be spied nearby. Grassland birds like bobolinks and dicksissels hide in the prairie but if you listen closely you may hear their bubbling and buzzing calls. Muskrats are common but Nippersink Creek is also home to beavers, as well as reports of river otters.
Nippersink Creek is a wilderness getaway that provides excellent wildlife watching AND… It is never the same ride twice, so be sure to return often and in different seasons.
Nippersink Canoe Trail