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Attention hunters: Visit our FAQ page for information about the use of centerfire, single-shot rifles for deer hunting in Illinois. 


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.

icpdfMatthiessen State Park Map

Cross Country Skiing

There are 6 miles of cross-country ski trails with ski rental available on weekends from December through March. Alcohol is prohibited on all trails. Please call the Do It, To It Ski Shop at 815-343-7125 or 815-343-9014 to check conditions and status before coming to the park to ski.

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.

  • Alcohol is prohibited on all trails and in the campgrounds.
  • An equestrian campground for horseback riders and their horses is located west of Route 178 between Route 71 and the Dells Area entrance.
  • The horseback riders' camping and multi-use trails are open from May 1st (weather permitting-determined by park staff) to November 1st unless otherwise stated by the park's Superintendent.
  • Mountain bikes and horses are prohibited on all other trails throughout Matthiessen State Park and Starved Rock State Park.