Blackhawk Falls, Illinois

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been finding some of the lesser known waterfalls, often near big cities. The Chicago metro area has at least two smaller waterfalls in its vicinity. One of them is Blackhawk Falls, the other Waterfall Glen Falls.

I have to admit…I’m not 100% sure either of these are truly natural waterfalls. The more advertised one (with Waterfall Glen it is name) seems a bit more a product of human intervention than this one, though even Blackhawk Falls feels like humans may have had a hand in its creation.

Even so, it’s got a few things going for it. First, it’s very easy to get to. Second, it’s a short walk to the falls along a paved path. The path, the River Bend Bike Trail, extends a ways and is an enjoyable trail. The falls are tall enough to make it a worthwhile stop if you’re in the Chicago area and you want to do a bit of outdoor exploration.


  1. There are numerous different ways to approach the falls, so I would suggest setting going to Google Maps and searching for Blackhawk County Forest Preserve, which is also known as Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve.
  2. You’ll want to set the intersection of IL-31 and S McLean Boulevard. Just to the east of this intersection along IL-31 is a parking area for the trail. (If you are driving east, the parking area will be on your right.)
  3. At this parking area, head to your right (southwest) along the paved trail. After just 200 feet or so, you’ll come to a bridge. The falls will be directly upstream from this bridge. You can veer off the trail to get a closer view of the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 5′
Length of Hike: 400′ round-trip

Blackhawk Falls (19)

Where in the World is Blackhawk Falls?


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