Spring is here and it's time to get back out and enjoy the warm Illinois weather.  Camping, biking, hiking, and everything we in the Midwest do outdoors for these few warm months.

If you are a hiking expert, perhaps no trail scares you.  But if you are an amateur perhaps these trails should be avoided.  Plus, I think I found one area in Illinois every hiker should avoid.

The hardest hiking trails in Illinois.

People hiking - happy hiker couple on Hawaii

Before getting into the most dangerous trails, here are a few that will test your limits as the hardest hiking trails in Illinois.

  1. Starved Rock to Hennepin Canyon - Located in Oglesby, Illinois, this is an 8.2-mile hike that will take you a bit over 8 hours to complete.
  2. Detweiler Park to Camp Wakonda - Located in Peoria, Illinois get ready for a 14-mile hike that will last 7 hours.
  3. Broken Boulder, Happy Hollow, Round Bluff Trails Loops - In Ferne Clyffe State Park in Goreville, Illinois you'll spend about 4 hours on this hike.
  4. Sac Fox Trail - Front, Main, Extra Mile Loops - A 9-mile hike that will take you over 3 hours in the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve in Rock Island County is the closest to the Quad Cities for taking on these hard hikes.

If you are looking for more hard hikes to take up your summer, alltrails.com has them listed for you.

The most dangerous hikes in Illinois.

hiking route in green alpine forest

If those are considered the hard trails, this is the one that you need to be an extra experienced hiker for.

Shawnee National Forest in Herod, Illinois

This forest is tucked down in the tip of Illinois and is tucked between Kentucky and Missouri which should give you an idea of what the terrain is like.

While the entire forest is full of places to explore there are a couple that stand out as the most dangerous.  One is the Garden of the Gods Observation Trail. Steep grades, massive rock formations, slippery rocks, and a long trail all add to its difficulty factor.

The other dangerous trail in the Shawnee National Forest is the Godwin Trail.  It's over 10 miles of water, sand, and forest but can be worth it for you to get some of the best forest and river views.

There is one more very dangerous place to go hiking in Illinois.

Chicago skyline at sunset time aerial view, United States

West Garfield Park Illinois.  Not really a park.  And hiking boots and extra water won't help you.  But just like the other trails mentioned above, you definitely should not be walking around at night in this "park".

The West Garfield Park murder rate is 189.3 murders per 100,000 people.  You'd be much safer in Shawnee Park on any trail than going for a stroll here.  So, really, this is the most dangerous place to go hiking in Illinois.

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