River to River Trail

The River to River Trail is a 160 mile (256 km)-long hiking trail that serves Shawnee National Forest in far southern Illinois. The trail is used by both equestrians and hikers. About half is on off road trails. Its eastern terminus has historically been Battery Rock, overlooking the Ohio River but now generally Elizabethtown, Illinois is used as the eastern terminus. The western terminus is in Grand Tower, Illinois, at the Mississippi River. Sections of the River to River Trail form part of the Southern Section of the American Discovery Trail.[1][2]

River to River Trail
Map showing the location of River to River Trail
Map showing the location of River to River Trail
Location within the state of Illinois
Nearest cityGrand Tower (west), Goreville (center west), Eddyville (center east), Elizabethtown (east)
Coordinates37°29′26″N 88°54′43″W / 37.490591°N 88.911889°W / 37.490591; -88.911889Coordinates: 37°29′26″N 88°54′43″W / 37.490591°N 88.911889°W / 37.490591; -88.911889
Governing body
River to River Trail
Length162 Miles
TrailheadsGrand Tower, Illinois, Elizabethtown, Illinois, Battery Rock
UseHiking, Equestrian
SeasonHiking All, Equestrian May–October
HazardsTicks, Rattlesnake, Copperhead Snake

From east to west, the trail serves the following settlements and resources:

The River to River Trail Society has published a guidebook to the trail's campsites, orientation, safe water sources, and other useful information.[1] A significant spur trail serves Elizabethtown, Illinois.[2]


Map this section's coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

Following are waypoints on the trail:

Waypoint Coordinates
Battery Rock 37°31′45″N 88°04′47″W / 37.529179°N 88.079796°W / 37.529179; -88.079796 (River to River Trail Waypoint Battery Rock)
IL 1 37°33′19″N 88°10′31″W / 37.5551929°N 88.17519660000001°W / 37.5551929; -88.17519660000001 (River to River Trail Waypoint IL 1)
Elizabethtown 37°26′45″N 88°18′23″W / 37.445895°N 88.306437°W / 37.445895; -88.306437 (River to River Trail Waypoint Elizabethtown)
County 12 37°29′50″N 88°19′26″W / 37.4971416°N 88.3237693°W / 37.4971416; -88.3237693 (River to River Trail Waypoint County 12)
Junction E'Town & Battery Rock 37°35′36″N 88°18′22″W / 37.593285°N 88.306065°W / 37.593285; -88.306065 (River to River Trail Waypoint Junction E'Town & Battery Rock)
Garden of the Gods State Park 37°36′09″N 88°23′02″W / 37.60251°N 88.38383°W / 37.60251; -88.38383 (River to River Trail Waypoint Garden of the Gods State Park)
Herod 37°34′49″N 88°26′11″W / 37.580397°N 88.436514°W / 37.580397; -88.436514 (River to River Trail Waypoint Herod)
One Horse Gap 37°31′03″N 88°27′31″W / 37.5175765°N 88.4586793°W / 37.5175765; -88.4586793 (River to River Trail Waypoint One Horse Gap)
Lusk Creek 37°31′31″N 88°33′01″W / 37.5252477°N 88.5502338°W / 37.5252477; -88.5502338 (River to River Trail Waypoint Lusk Creek)
Eddyville 37°30′03″N 88°35′11″W / 37.500951°N 88.586344°W / 37.500951; -88.586344 (River to River Trail Waypoint Eddyville)
Bay Creek / Millstone Bluff 37°29′02″N 88°41′29″W / 37.4839511°N 88.6912537°W / 37.4839511; -88.6912537 (River to River Trail Waypoint Bay Creek / Millstone Bluff)
US 45 37°29′14″N 88°50′34″W / 37.48722°N 88.842831°W / 37.48722; -88.842831 (River to River Trail Waypoint US 45)
Tunnel Hill State Trail 37°29′37″N 88°52′16″W / 37.4935198°N 88.8712245°W / 37.4935198; -88.8712245 (River to River Trail Waypoint Tunnel Hill State Trail)
Interstate 24 37°29′26″N 88°53′41″W / 37.490626°N 88.894672°W / 37.490626; -88.894672 (River to River Trail Waypoint Interstate 24)
Gould Lake 37°28′52″N 88°56′41″W / 37.481022°N 88.944722°W / 37.481022; -88.944722 (River to River Trail Waypoint Gould Lake)
IL 37 37°31′29″N 88°57′56″W / 37.524609°N 88.96552300000001°W / 37.524609; -88.96552300000001 (River to River Trail Waypoint IL 37)
Goreville / Ferne Cliffe 37°32′55″N 88°58′45″W / 37.548737°N 88.97928°W / 37.548737; -88.97928 (River to River Trail Waypoint Goreville / Ferne Cliffe)
Interstate 57 37°33′21″N 89°01′58″W / 37.555899°N 89.032752°W / 37.555899; -89.032752 (River to River Trail Waypoint Interstate 57)
Panther Den Wilderness 37°34′58″N 89°05′17″W / 37.5828136°N 89.0880703°W / 37.5828136; -89.0880703 (River to River Trail Waypoint Panther Den)
Giant City State Park 37°35′32″N 89°10′58″W / 37.592148°N 89.182913°W / 37.592148; -89.182913 (River to River Trail Waypoint Giant City State Park)
Makanda 37°37′04″N 89°12′34″W / 37.617656°N 89.209306°W / 37.617656; -89.209306 (River to River Trail Waypoint Makanda)
US 51 37°36′38″N 89°14′01″W / 37.610577°N 89.233682°W / 37.610577; -89.233682 (River to River Trail Waypoint US 51)
Cedar Lake 37°36′46″N 89°17′21″W / 37.612773°N 89.28925200000002°W / 37.612773; -89.28925200000002 (River to River Trail Waypoint Cedar Lake)
Alto Pass 37°34′13″N 89°19′04″W / 37.570255°N 89.317667°W / 37.570255; -89.317667 (River to River Trail Waypoint Alto Pass)
Bald Knob Wilderness 37°34′08″N 89°21′41″W / 37.56891°N 89.3614709°W / 37.56891; -89.3614709 (River to River Trail Waypoint Bald Knob Wilderness)
Clear Springs Wilderness 37°35′27″N 89°26′22″W / 37.59072°N 89.43950400000001°W / 37.59072; -89.43950400000001 (River to River Trail Waypoint Clear Springs Wilderness)
Big Muddy River / IL 3 37°33′43″N 89°28′19″W / 37.56204°N 89.471884°W / 37.56204; -89.471884 (River to River Trail Waypoint Big Muddy River / IL 3)
Devils Backbone Park / Grand Tower 37°38′20″N 89°30′39″W / 37.638924°N 89.51086100000001°W / 37.638924; -89.51086100000001 (River to River Trail Waypoint Devils Backbone Park / Grand Tower)


  1. ^ a b "River to River Trail". River to River Trail Society. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  2. ^ a b Zyznieuski, Walt (2009-05-07). "Exploring the Shawnee National Forest". Illinois Times. Retrieved 2009-05-09.

External Map and Hiking Journal LinksEdit