Hiking with Shawn’s Trail Guide Series:
East Trigg to Splatterstone Fall
Splatterstone Fall is a really scenic waterfall located in Jackson Hollow Ecological Area within the Shawnee National Forest. This area is very wild and scenic all the way from East Trigg Trailhead where you start at. In this guide, you’ll be taking the Cove Hollow trail through Jackson Hollow and to Splatterstone. See the area on this map.
A word of advice. While there is a trail present, this hike is very rugged and about 6.5 miles in length. This area is often ridden by horseback riders so if it is wet, you can expect muddy horse damaged trails which will make hiking more difficult. Some areas of the start of the hike include having to hike around large mud holes created by off road vehicles.
The trail sounds like it can be a challenge and sometimes, it can be but it is worth it in the end to see what all it has to offer.
Directions and Stuff!
Traveling east from the Post Office in Ozark, Illinois – continue for about 4 miles until you get to the T. Turn right onto Trigg Tower Road and continue for about 2.5 miles until you reach East Trigg Trailhead on your right past the Jack Davis horse camp area. The trailhead is a big gravel parking lot where the River to River trail crosses it. You’ll see the trailhead sign in the parking lot close to the trail.
After you park, cross the road and continue down the River to River Trail until you reach a trail fork with 001T on your left. You will want to take 001T and stay on the trails that edge the bluffage. This is called Cove Hollow, not to be confused with Cove Hollow at Cedar Lake on the West Side of the Shawnee National Forest.
Continue on the trail that follows the bluffage until you reach a point to where you can turn left and parallel to the railroad tracks to your right. Take that trail and continue into Jackson Hollow Ecological Area on an unmarked user trail. The bluffage will also be on your left.
Continue and go towards the coordinates of N37 31.099 W88 41.475 which is where Splatterstone Falls is. Without some sort of app or GPS unit to put the coordinates into, it will be difficult to find this waterfall unless you have a map and know how to properly read it.
Simply turn around and retrace your steps to get back to East Trigg Trailhead,
What You’ll See!
There is a lot to see on this trail. When you start on the River to River trail, there are a few old home sites with foundations, ponds and even a well or two (uncovered, use caution) to your left. Be careful not to stray too far to the right of the trail as a lot of it is on private property. Once you get into Cove Hollow (Trail 001T), you’ll start seeing some pretty cool bluffage, cave shelters and even a waterfall or two if you’re lucky enough.
Continuing on towards Jackson Hollow, you’ll get into a popular rock climbing area called the Promise Land. You’ll know it when you see the emergency backboard and first aid kit that Beta Fund installed. There are a few of those at Jackson Falls as well. Jackson Hollow is also full of interesting bluffs, crevices and shelters.
Reaching Splatterstone Falls, you’ll realize why it is such a feature of a waterfall. And why it gets its name as well. The creek that the water feeds to is also worth exploring if you have the time.
Tips for the Trail!
- Wear proper footwear that has some grip, especially on wet rocky conditions.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks.
- Try not to hike alone and be sure to tell others where you are going.
- Stay on the official trails at all times to avoid hazards.
- Pack out what you pack in and never vandalize the natural features.
- Bring a camera, because there are some awesome views!
Watch the videos for this trail!
Below is a recent video that we filmed while enjoying this area.
One last thing!
Filming the videos, taking the photos, editing everything and writing this article takes time and it’s all provided for free. Consider making a small monthly contribution to Hiking with Shawn by becoming an official Patreon supporter on Hiking with Shawn! You can also support us by purchasing official merch from the Hiking with Shawn online store. Lastly, please share this article and our videos and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler for more free guides, videos, photos, contests and more!
Thanks for checking out this guide and please share it with others if you’d like to see more of them made!
Shawn J. Gossman
Shawn is the founder and host of the YouTube Channel, Hiking with Shawn as well as Hiking with Shawn LLC. Shawn hikes, backpacks and visits various forested areas in the Shawnee National Forest, local state parks and other areas promoting outdoor recreational activities to obtain video to show to locals and non-locals alike. Please support Shawn’s efforts by sharing this post and leaving a comment below.