Shawnee Forest

Waterfall Trails to Visit

After Heavy Rain

There are tons of Shawnee Forest waterfall trails to visit after a good heavy rain.

Instead of just visiting one waterfall, it’s better to visit multiple waterfalls. Luckily, the Shawnee National Forest and state parks are full of these great trails.

Many of them are rugged, especially when wet. You will likely get wet in the process of chasing them. But you’ll have a blast all day enjoying falling water.

Let’s look at six excellent Shawnee Forest waterfall trails to visit after heavy rainfall.

Shawnee Forest Waterfall 1 – Bulge Hole

Bulge Hole

Bulge Hole Ecological Area is an excellent Shawnee Forest waterfall trail to visit after heavy rain.

This is a waterfall paradise of the Shawnee National Forest. On my best day, I saw over twenty waterfalls of different shapes and sizes. There are at least four or five lovely photogenic waterfalls.

The area is rugged, and there aren’t any trails. Use extra caution and tread lightly because it is a natural area. It’s best to visit during the winter when the leaves are off the trees and the ticks are gone.

Shawnee Forest Waterfalls 2 – Cedar Wonders

Cedar Creek Wonders

Cedar Creek Wonders is another great Shawnee Waterfall spot to visit after a few days of good rain.

It features several ravines with different size waterfalls. There are also several side waterfalls along the way. You can even see Easter Basket Arch, one of the most petite natural arches in the Shawnee National Forest.

This area is rugged. We got over 2,000 feet of elevation gain the last time we hiked it. But it’s worth it. You’ll get wet chasing waterfalls here and on your wettest days.

Shawnee Forest Waterfalls 3 – Pakentuck


Pakentuck is another excellent area to see more than one Shawnee Forest waterfall.

It borders Camp Ondessonk. Getting permission from the camp could make for a long day of chasing some of the best-looking waterfalls in the Shawnee National Forest.

This is another rugged area. But there are several lovely waterfalls to check out, along with a natural arch and scenic creeks.

Shawnee Forest Waterfalls 4 – Ferne Clyffe

Ferne Clyffe State Park

Ferne Clyffe State Park is easier to chase multiple waterfalls after heavy rain.

I like to go there and wait out heavy, strong thunderstorms and hit the four trails right when they stop. Those four are Big Rocky Hollow, Rebman, Boy Scout, and Hawk’s Cave. It’s a few miles of hiking, and you’ll see numerous impressive waterfalls.

This is a more accessible area to hike, but there are some spots where creek crossing might mean getting wet. But it is worth getting wet to see these Shawnee Forest waterfall locations at their best!

Shawnee Forest Waterfalls 5 – Piney Creek Ravine

Shawnee Forest waterfall trails

Piney Creek Ravine is best known for having the most Native American rock art in Illinois.

But it also has much waterfall potential when the area is very wet. There are multiple waterfalls everywhere you turn, mainly by portions where the creek is present. Plus, there are Native American rock art areas to check out as well (note the security cameras – please don’t be a vandal).

Piney Creek Ravine is a nature preserve. You’re asked to always stay on the trail and watch waterfalls from a safe distance. You’ll have to cross creeks to hike the trail when it’s wet.

Shawnee Forest Waterfall 6 – Jackson Hollow

Jackson Hollow

Jackson Hollow is another excellent Shawnee Forest waterfall spot.

 Multiple waterfalls stretch on what seems like never-ending bluffage. If you follow the creeks, it will take you to other cascades and waterfalls, too. There are many rock formations and tall bluffs.

There are no actual trails, and the area is hard to get into. It’s a rugged hike, especially wet, so be prepared for that.


Those are six great Shawnee Forest waterfall trails after heavy rainfall. Remember that everything is slick after rain, so it is essential to put safety before recreation. If you’ve enjoyed this article, subscribe to my free monthly newsletter for more.

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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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