The Little-Known Waterfall In Illinois You Can Only Reach By Hiking This 1.1-Mile Trail – Only In Your State

Posted in Illinois
December 29, 2021
by Melissa Mahoney

Hiding out in a forest preserve along the Fox River in a Chicago suburb is a little-known waterfall. It’s a gorgeous cascade that can be reached by hiking an easy trail. If you’re looking to hike to a waterfall in Illinois, head to the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve in South Elgin.

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

Set along a bend in the Fox River in South Elgin, Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve is home to hiking trails, a boat launch, picnic areas, historic sites, and a hidden waterfall.

With its location along the river and the fact that the Riverbend Bike Trail makes its way through the preserve, plenty of recreational opportunities can be found here. Visitors can go hiking, biking, boating, fishing, bird watching, and camping in this picturesque preserve.

To find the waterfall, you’ll start off on the 1.1-mile Old Quarry Road Trail. It’s an easy hike with a moderate amount of foot traffic and mostly flat with a gentle grade is some areas.

As for accessibility, there is one accessible space in the parking lot off of Bonnie Street. The trail’s surface is asphalt or gravel and it’s five-feet wide in most areas.

Along the trail, you will see several historical markers. At the entrance is an impressive carved wood statue of Sauk leader, Black Hawk. Further into the preserve, you’ll see a memorial marker for two unknown soldiers of General Winfield Scott’s Army who died fighting in the 1852 Black Hawk War.

Hikers enjoy the sweeping views along the trail that leads over a bridge across the river.

To get to the waterfall, you’ll eventually veer off the Old Quarry Road Trail and head south along the Riverbend Trail. While it can be a little tricky to find the waterfall, your efforts will be rewarded.

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