Cove Hollow Trail
Shawnee National Forest
Cove Hollow Loop is a trail system located in the Shawnee National Forest near Pomona within the Cedar Lake area.
This lollipop loop uses a combination of Cove Hollow and Wolfden Hollow trails. The total mileage is about 6.5-miles with a max elevation of about 1,060-foot. Due to the rolling hills, a few creek crossings, and somewhat rugged terrain, this trail would be considered moderate to hiking difficultly standards.
While this trail wouldn’t be appropriate for beginners, it is an excellent trail for those who wish to do something a little bit more on the rugged side of somewhat easy hiking – I’d put it in between easy and moderate.
Cove Hollow Loop Directions
All roads leading to the trailhead are paved and can be accessed by most vehicles – note that some of the back roads may not be treated during wintry conditions. Please drive carefully on Dutch Ridge and Cove Hollow roads as residents with children, pets, and livestock along these roads.
- While traveling southbound on Interstate 57 in Anna, take Exit-30 to Illinois-146 towards Anna.
- Turn right (west) onto IL-146 and drive 10-miles until you see Illinois-127 on your right.
- Turn right (north) onto IL-127 and drive 12.5-miles until you see Dutch Ridge Road on your right.
- Turn right (east) onto Dutch Ridge Road and drive for 1-mile until you see Cove Hollow Road on your right.
- Turn right (east) onto Cove Hollow Road and drive for 1-mile to the end of the road. That is the trailhead.
There is enough parking for about 6 to 10 vehicles. The trail features an information kiosk sign with a map and essential information from the US Forest Service. There is no potable water or restrooms located at this trailhead.
Cove Hollow Loop Trail Information
You can get paper maps for this trail system from Friends of the Shawnee National Forest online or Shawnee Trails Wilderness Outfitters in Carbondale. You can also use applications for your phones, such as All Trails and OnXHunt.
From the Cove Hollow Loop Trailhead, take Trail-385 for 2.5-miles. Along this route, you’ll see many beautiful views of Cedar Lake and many points where people camp.
Primitive camping is allowed in this area, away from the trail and parking lot. There is no fee for camping.
You will also see many waterfall areas along this trail when conditions are wet. Please use caution around wet rocks as they can be very slippery. There is plenty of bluffage, nooks, and crannies.
When you reach the junction for Wolfden Hollow, take Trail-378 (counterclockwise is nice and hilly) to begin the loop. There is much to see along this hilly route, including bluffage, waterfalls, meadows, etc. It is stunning in the spring during wildflower season.
When you loop back around, take TR-385 back to the trailhead.
Other Stuff Around Cove Hollow Loop
There are a lot of other things to do in this area. Check out Pomona Natural Bridge and Little Grand Canyon for more hiking opportunities. Head into nearby Alto Pass for wine, shopping, and more at Alto Vineyards, Rendleman Orchard, and Von Jakob Winery and Brewery. Bun Makers in nearby Murphysboro has excellent breakfast choices. There are kinds of Lodging Opportunities in this area, including campgrounds such as Pine Hills and Trail of Tears.
Watch the videos for this trail!
Below is a recent video that we filmed while enjoying this area.
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Founder, Hiking with Shawn
Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. I hope you enjoy my website and I encourage you to interact with me!