Matthiessen State Park has 5 miles of well-marked, well-surfaced hiking trails for a relaxing walk or a vigorous hike. Large trail maps are located at all major trail intersections so visitors can choose a variety of routes. The upper area and bluff tops are easy hiking paths for the novice, but the trails into the interiors of the two dells may be difficult to negotiate, particularly during spring and early summer. Hikers must stay on marked trails, as steep cliffs and deep canyons can be dangerous. Hikers will marvel at the plant and animal life along the trails, and have an unparalleled view of geological wonders as they travel through the park. Alcohol is prohibited on all trails.
Cross Country Skiing
There are 6 miles of cross-country ski trails with ski rental available weekends from December through March. Alcohol is prohibited on all trails. Call 815-667-4726 to check conditions and status before coming to use these facilities.
Horseback Riding/Equestrian Camping/Mountain Bikes
The park provides 9 miles of multi-use mountain bike/ horseback riding trails for those who own their own horse or mountain bike. The trails are color coded and marked with the yield order triangle which symbolizes that all users yield to horse riders. The trail map is at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Documents/BikeEQTrail_Matthiessen.pdf
Alcohol is prohibited on all trails.
An equestrian campground for horseback riders and their horses is located west of Route 178 between Route 71 and the Dells Area entrance. Alcohol is prohibited in all campgrounds.
The horseback riders camping and multi-use trails are open from April 15 (weather permitting-determined by park staff) to October 31. Call 815-667-4726 to check conditions and status before coming to use these facilities.
Mountain bikes and horses are prohibited on all other trails throughout Matthiessen State Park and Starved Rock State Park.