This trail has been adopted by: Donna K. (What's this?)

Inspiration Point

Nestled within LaRue-Pine Hills Research Natural Area is Inspiration Point, a National Recreation Trail because of its outstanding scenic qualities and beauty.

photo: View from the bluffs. Photo by USFS.

Length: 0.80 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Backcountry
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation

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Location: Shawnee National Forest, In Shawnee NF SW of Carbondale on Forest Rd. 236.
State(s): Illinois
Counties: Union
Longitude: -89.43608
Latitude: 37.58559

Driving Directions

From Jonesboro: Take Highway 146 west 8 miles to Highway 3; then north 8 miles on Highway 3 to Muddy Levee Road. Then west 3 miles to LaRue Rd. to the ‘T’ and turn left.* Proceed 0.4 mile on LaRue Rd. then turn right onto Pine Hills Rd. On the right is the lower
trailhead. Continue on Pine Hills Rd. 0.6 miles to the upper trailhead.

From Murphysboro: Take Highway 149 west 7 miles to Highway 3; then south 14 miles on
Highway 3 to Muddy Levee Road. Then west 3 miles to LaRue Rd. to the ‘T’ and turn left.
Continue at * in directions above.

Description


This trail was traveled by a
NRT Ambassador on 11/10/2019.

Nestled within LaRue-Pine Hills Research Natural Area is Inspiration Point, a National Recreation Trail because of its outstanding scenic qualities and beauty. Its point juts out from the main bluffs, offering a magnificent view of the Mississippi River Valley. Inspiration Point Trail is not a loop trail. Instead, it has two trailheads, both accessible along Pine Hills Road. The shorter, easier walk to the overlook is from the upper trailhead. From the lower trailhead, you wind past trees and wildflowers and climb bluffs.

Additional Details

Width: 30 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: Gravel

Average Grade: 8%
Maximum Grade: 34%
Elevation Low Point: 400
Elevation High Point: 580
Elevation Gain (cumulative): 128 feet

Year Designated:
1980

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Document: USFS Trail Map/Overview

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Shawnee National Forest
Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District
521 North Main
Jonesboro, IL 62952
(618) 833-8576
https://www.fs.usda.gov/shawnee

 

Photos

View from the bluffs. Photo by USFS.

View from the bluffs. Photo by USFS.

Inspiration Point is a 0.8-mile point-to-point trail with a natural surface. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

Inspiration Point is a 0.8-mile point-to-point trail with a natural surface. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

 

Inspiration Point offers panoramic views of the Mississippi River Valley. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

Inspiration Point offers panoramic views of the Mississippi River Valley. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

The upper portion of the trail travels atop the statuesque limestone bluffs. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

The upper portion of the trail travels atop the statuesque limestone bluffs. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

 

The lower portion of the trail dips into the forest at McCann Springs. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

The lower portion of the trail dips into the forest at McCann Springs. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

Inspiration Point is located within the ecologically diverse LaRue-Pine Hills Research Natural Area. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

Inspiration Point is located within the ecologically diverse LaRue-Pine Hills Research Natural Area. Photo by Donna Kridelbaugh.

Reviews

NRT Ambassador Review

Inspiration Point is a 0.8-mile point-to-point, hiking trail with trailheads and small parking areas at either termini, which are both accessible from Pine Hills Rd. The upper portion of the trail traverses a limestone bluff ridgeline that stands in stark contrast to the Mississippi River Valley below. There are panoramic views of the valley, Big Muddy River levee and wetland areas. The lower portion of the trail descends into the forested bottomlands to McCann Springs.

Inspiration Point is located within the ecologically diverse LaRue-Pine Hills Research Natural Area, known for its infamous “Snake” Road. As such, no camping or campfires are allowed in this area. Pine Hills Rd. also provides access to the River-to-River Trail, picnicking spots and scenic overlooks, and Pine Hills campground.

To note, Inspiration Point itself is actually a rock formation that juts out from the main bluff. However, there is only a social trail that leads to the point, whereas hikers must scramble down a small decline and then walk a short, peninsular track out on the rock. It doesn't appear to be an official, developed trail and could be unsafe, especially in adverse weather conditions, so use best judgement.

This point also is a popular hangout spot, and, unfortunately, the rock has been marred with graffiti. Please leave no trace while on the trail by packing out your trash and minimizing your impacts, so everyone can enjoy the natural beauty of this unique place.

December 6, 2019

 

 

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