Friday, March 30

Sharp Rock Falls

Continuing with our series, "Adventures with Uncle bob-guide to self-adventure in Southern Illinois," we feature Sharp Rock Falls. This is a reprint of an article that fell off our former website. The trail to the falls is Shawnee forest property; however, the campground is private. This means no hiking here in the summer when parking is needed for paying customers. Directions: From Murphysboro, take rt 127 north to Ava Blacktop rd. follow this scenic road about 12 miles to the sign for Sharp rock falls and take this to the campground. When the road ends at the bottom, turn left, cross a concrete culvert, keep hanging to the right at junctions, and park where possible when you see the trail and the USDA signage.
This trail is probably maintained by ATV riders with ascents and descents. We are surrounded by steep pretty cliff lines in the canyon. We cross a shallow creekbed and then soon back over again. At some point we encounter a tributory creek crossing our path. Turn left and either walk up the creekbed or climb the banks to follow this canyon as it curves to the right. Now we see a cascade dropping in 3 layers-about 30 ft total. This cascade is probably seasonal, but the walk thru the canyons are worthwhile by itself. Walk back to the car. Photo courtesy by Bill Pinkston. GPS coordinates 37.8420N and -89.4882W. Any questions contact Bob Tyson 684-5643 or

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