Riding to Southern Illinois’ Waterfalls

Southern Illinois' Waterfalls

Did you know Illinois is home to several beautiful waterfalls? While the state may not be known for its natural appeal, Illinois is filled with stunning natural features, many of which are located near Shawnee Hills State Park. You can visit six of these waterfalls in a single motorcycle road trip.

The Illinois Waterfall Loop

Riding your motorcycle from waterfall to waterfall is an excellent way to take in Southern Illinois’ natural beauty and get a taste of the beautiful scenery throughout the state. 

The Illinois Waterfall Loop is a scenic route that you can take by car or motorcycle to visit six of the state’s most stunning waterfalls. The trip spans 114 miles from beginning to end, making it a reasonable length to complete in a day. However, many of the stops along the route are near campsites, so you can also consider turning the Waterfall Loop into a weekend-long camping trip. 

The Illinois Waterfall Loop takes you to these six waterfalls:

  • Ferne Clyffe Waterfall Trail: A small waterfall nestled in a dense forest
  • Kincaid Lake Spillway: A rushing, rocky waterfall with a sparkling natural lake at the bottom
  • Cedar Falls: A lesser-known 80-foot waterfall located near a campground
  • Little Pakentuck Waterfall: A waterfall at the end of a nature trail that is part of the Illinois Ozarks area
  • Jackson Falls: A waterfall in Shawnee National Forest with eye-catching rock formations
  • Burden Falls:  A waterfall in the middle of a mile-long loop trail 

Each of these waterfalls is surrounded by other natural features, including trails, shallow lakes, rock formations, and more. As a result, you may want to spend more than a few minutes at each waterfall. 

If you have the time, we recommend splitting up your motorcycle trip into multiple days to allow you to spend at least an hour at each waterfall. You won’t regret having the extra time to enjoy the beauty of nature. 

Riding the Illinois Waterfall Loop 

If you’d like to turn this waterfall trip into a loop, we recommend traveling to each stop in the order we listed above. By the time you reach Burden Falls, you’ll be near your starting point of Fern Clyffe. 

This entire loop should take you about three hours from start to finish, not including the time you spend at each waterfall. If you’d like to take the loop in one day, you can start in the morning, grab breakfast near Burden Falls, and spend around an hour at each waterfall. 

Tips for Riding to Southern Illinois’ Waterfalls

Riding your motorcycle from waterfall to waterfall is an excellent way to check out these scenic attractions. If you’re a motorcyclist, you know the joys of spending a day cruising through nature on your bike, taking in the scenery around you, and feeling the warm breeze on your back. 

However, preparing for your motorcycle trip is important to ensure that you stay safe on the road. 

Here are a few tips for biking to Southern Illinois’ waterfalls:

  • Don’t let your gas tank get below a quarter full during your trip.
  • Pack plenty of supplies in your storage compartment, including water, snacks, tools, and emergency supplies.
  • Bring an overnight bag in case you end up deciding to stay the night somewhere before heading back.
  • Review Illinois’ motorcycle laws if you’re from out of state.
  • Ensure that any passenger riders know the best ways to stay safe on your bike.


The Law Tigers team is here to help if you become involved in an accident in Illinois, and across the United State. Contact our motorcycle accident attorneys at (888) 863-7216 for a free case evaluation.