Rich sandstone glades, rock crevices, a natural spring, and sheer cliff walls await you at this popular trail in southern Gallatin County, Illinois. Near the Garden of the Gods along Karber’s Ridge Road is Rim Rock National Recreation Trail, a natural area within the Shawnee National Forest. Although this site exhibits one of the better preserved stoneforts built by the late Woodland culture in southern Illinois, this gem of a hike is often overlooked.
|Trailhead at Rim Rock National Recreation Trail|
There are several options along this interpretative trail and the path leading to the left (northwest) out of the parking lot is recommended. A brick walkway leads you along the top of the escarpment and past the stonefort with buttercups, violets, chickweed, wild blue phlox, violet wood sorrel, Virginia spiderwort, and yellow star grass flowering along the edges. Wild columbine is also common and later in the spring the trail is lined with shooting stars.
|Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)|
|Lichen Grasshopper (Trimerotropis saxatilis)|
|Stairway down escarpment|
Ox-Lot Cave is the area at the base of the cliffs. A permanent spring flows out of the rock and this area was once used as a livestock impoundment.
|White Trillium (Trillium flexipes)|
|Bridge over creek|