Amazing Waterfalls in Illinois :- Illinois is known for the iconic city of Chicago, its rich history, and as the land of Lincoln. The Midwestern state also has a flourishing farming industry.
Even though it’s considered one of the flattest states, it is home to many wooded areas, valleys, and some impressive waterfalls that draw many nature lovers.
From the wide Thunder Bay Falls to the towering Ferne Clyffe Waterfall, there is a variety of waterfalls to explore in the Prairie State.
Wondering where to begin?
We’ve got you covered with our list of 11 amazing waterfalls in Illinois: –
St. Louis Canyon Waterfall #1
Nestled in the verdant Starved Rock State Park, this waterfall is a must-have on your itinerary. This spring-fed waterfall is around 80 feet high and flows all year round.
Located inside a canyon, it comes down a cave-like rock setting and is a picturesque sight to behold.
You’ll have to go across numerous trails to get to the fall. There are several signposts to guide you along the way.
Visiting during winter?
You’ll be able to spot icicles in the fall.
Worth Waterfalls, Worth #2
Although man-made, Worth Falls seems straight out of a postcard. For those who don’t wish to hike, this is a convenient option.
It will only require a short walk from your car to get to the grassland in front of the waterfall. You can indulge in nature photography, enjoy picnicking, or just unwind in front of these spectacular Falls.
Visiting with kids?
There are several playgrounds around the Falls to keep the little ones delighted. Keep in mind that it can get crowded during weekends so arrive early.
Tonti Canyon Falls #3
Looking for a serene escape into nature?
Head to Tonti Canyon Creek Waterfalls.
Located in Starved Rock State Park, they constitute two waterfalls next to each other. Witness water gushing down from a height of around 60 feet with rich vegetation all around at this stunning spot.
You can take the river trail or the bridge trail to reach the Falls. Make sure to wear water shoes since the area close to the Fall is usually flooded.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as raccoons, white-tailed deer, birds, and squirrels here.
Got some more time on your hands?
Take the six-mile hiking loop for your journey wherein you’ll come across various overlooks for stunning views of the Illinois River and also pass LaSalle Canyon Falls and much more.
Burden Falls #4
One of the most amazing waterfalls in Illinois, Burden Falls is located within the Shawnee National Forest. With rigged rock formations, and lush forested areas all around, the waterfall is a haven for nature lovers.
The Falls features a height of around 100 feet and have various drops and cascades. The upper Falls spread out in numerous directions.
Then, there’s a main drop where the waterfall divides into two. Reaching the Falls can be slightly challenging as it requires making your way through dense forests and going over rock formations but the views at the end are worth every effort.
The best time to visit the Falls is just after winter or heavy rainfall.
Thunder Bay Falls #5
Located only 10 minutes from downtown Galena, Thunder Bay Falls is a scenic spring-fed waterfall that flows all year round. This wide waterfall can be reached through a small path from the parking lot.
You can click some incredible pictures here, enjoy picnicking, or spend a few tranquil moments as you feel the mist coming from the Falls. There are two viewing platforms here.
Visiting during winter?
The waterfall freezes which makes it even more alluring.
Kaskaskia Waterfall #6
Nature lovers are drawn to this stunning waterfall located within Shawnee National Forest. Even though it’s small in size, its impressive beauty makes it a must-visit waterfall in Illinois.
From an elevation of 20 feet, the waterfall cascades over a rocky ledge and is active from June till after the monsoon.
Reaching the waterfall requires a slightly challenging trek.
You can begin your journey from the parking lot, hike toward the eastern edge of Starved Rock State Park, and cross staircases and verdant wooded areas to reach this scenic waterfall.
Ferne Clyffe State Park #7
Situated in the Ferne Clyffe State Park, this waterfall is perfect for relaxing and enjoying plenty of recreational activities. Cascading down 100 feet, this is one of the tallest waterfalls in the state.
The best time to visit is during Spring and after heavy rains. There are several trails that lead here, generally constituting a two-mile loop. To avoid the harsh sun, make sure you carry an umbrella.
Your efforts shall be rewarded with the stunning waterfall and various amenities such as picnic tables, showers, BBQs, toilets, and shelters.
Wish to spend the night?
There are some camping grounds too that are open seasonally.
Giant’s Bathtub Falls #8
Located in the Matthiessen State Park, this waterfall is not too high but makes for an ideal recreation spot outdoors. These falls cascade down into a bathtub-like pond, hence the name.
The hike up to the waterfall can be slightly challenging but the journey is worth it.
You can swim in the pond, click pictures, or spot a variety of flora and fauna in the park, there’s plenty to keep you engaged here.
The intensity of the Falls will change with the season but their scenic charm remains throughout.
Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve #9
The Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is one of the most popular nature spots among locals. The preserve is home to a man-made waterfall that’s unmatched in its beauty.
There are various fun options you can take to reach the falls, including bicycling, hiking, and even horse riding.
There are designated areas where you can park. The place also makes for incredible photo opportunities including pre-wedding shoots.
You may also spot wildlife here.
French Canyon Falls #10
French Canyon Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Illinois. Located near the Starved Rock State Park, this waterfall consists of a string of 18 canyons and waterfalls.
Layered sandstone bluffs and lush vegetation all around create a picturesque setting. You can take a 0.4-mile hike to reach a lookout point over the canyon.
Thereon, you can follow the creek and enter the canyon.
Visiting in winter?
The waterfall turns into an icefall and is a spectacular sight to behold. Make sure you wear ice cleats.
Apple Canyon Lake Waterfall #11
Whether you’re looking for some adventure or tranquillity, this waterfall won’t disappoint. The human-made lake has a private recreational community, offering plenty of activities to enjoy here.
You can relax in the pool, unwind in the beach area, try your focus at the archery range, or play a round of golf at the 9-hole golf course, there is something here for everyone.
The lake divides into Hell’s breach, which leads to a towering waterfall. It’s easily accessible as you can park your car in the lot from where the falls are visible too.
Got some more time on your hands?
You can explore several trails throughout the nearby Apple Canyon State Park and witness deep ravines, limestone bluffs, streams, and springs.
So, start with the one that attracts you the most and get ready for an epic outing in Illinois.
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Q. What is the biggest waterfall in Illinois?
At just over 100 feet, Burden Falls is the tallest waterfall in Illinois.
Q. Does Illinois have waterfalls?
There are plenty of waterfalls in Illinois.
Q. Where is the most beautiful waterfall located?
Niagara Falls in New York, USA, and Ontario, Canada are considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.