Where was your first hike of 2023?

We decided to hit the trail at Piney Creek Ravine for our first hike of the year.

We went with a small group. Some had been there before. Others have never been there.

We were hoping for a lot of waterfall activity.

There wasn’t much water flowing, but we did get some waterfall sights.

And, of course, rock art is always lovely to see.


First Hike of 2023: Piney Creek Ravine

I’ve written a complete trail guide for Piney Creek Ravine. I recommend you check it out. It has more information and detailed directions.

It was an excellent choice for the first hike of 2023.

I’d love to give you a few extra tips to ensure you enjoy your visit to Piney Creek.

  1. Piney Creek is a nature preserve. Stay on the designated trails. You can see all the great rock art and waterfalls by staying on the trail.
  2. Be careful driving to Piney Creek. You must get on narrow gravel farm roads used by tractors, Amish buggies, and side-by-sides. Just use caution as you drive to it.
  3. There is quite a bit of parking but no restroom, water, or anything like that.
  4. If you go when wet, you’ll have to cross creeks. You’ll get your feet wet. Some creeks might be dangerous if the water is high.
  5. The rocks are very slick when wet.
  6. Piney Creek is home to Short Leaf Pine, an Illinois native pine tree. LaRue Pine Hills also hosts these native pines.
  7. Venomous snakes are present at Piney Creek, including copperhead and timber rattlesnakes.
  8. Respect the Rock Art there. It’s all on camera. Those cameras do work. Vandalizing that 12,000+-year-old art is probably one of the worst things humans can do in nature.

Piney Creek Ravine made for a perfect first hike of 2023. I have seen the ravine in all seasons, even covered in snow.

It gets very slick and steep when wet, icy, or snowy. People have got there. If you visit, please exercise caution, and put safety before anything else.

Leave the forest with good memories, not bad injuries.

If you’ve liked today’s article, please subscribe to my free monthly newsletter for more. Thank you for checking out my blog, and I wish you a very Happy New Year! Comment below and tell me where your first hike of 2023 was!

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Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!

Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

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. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

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