I was trying to decide whether include this waterfall, as I had a hunch it was man-made, and from what I understand, it was constructed in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corp. And yet, I figure it’s an interesting enough stop that doesn’t have the feel of a man-made waterfall at a putt-putt golf course!
Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve completely surrounds Argonne National Laboratory, so there are multiple trails that do not necessarily lead to waterfalls, but to other interesting features of the park. Rocky Glen Falls is in the southeastern portion of the preserve. It was an enjoyable hike to the falls, partly on gravel roads, and then on some trails as you approach the falls. I visited in January 2018 when it was a rather warm day, and it was a surprisingly hopping place. There were many people traversing the trails and visiting the falls. It’s about a 30-45 minute drive outside of downtown Chicago, but it doesn’t appear public transportation will be an easy way to get there. So I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to visit the falls, but I still found it an enjoyable diversion.
- From I-55, you could take exit 274 onto IL-83 heading south.
- After 2.2 miles on IL-83, turn right onto Bluff Road.
- After 0.7 miles, turn onto Waterfall Glen Road toward the Waterfall Glen Parking Area.
- From there, the Main Trail starts heading east. It then veers right/north onto the Rocky Glen Trail. The Rocky Glen Trail leads you to the falls.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Rocky Glen Falls?