Hiking 101: Rocky Bluff Trail

By Elizabeth Biernacki, Staff Reporter

Rocky Bluff Trail

Length: 2 miles

Time to hike: 2 hours


Rocky Bluff Trail can be found down Tacoma Lake Road. Keep in mind, the trail is in Crab Orchard, so a parking permit will be required. A single day pass, which is what I bought, was two dollars.

The permits can be bought at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center off of 148. Go east down 13 and turn right onto 148. The center should be on the left. 

To get to the trail from there, go south down 148 and make a right onto Grassy Road. Then turn left onto Tacoma Lake Road and the trail parking will be on the left.

The visitor’s center hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day so make sure you get the permit before they close!

Once all of that is done, a great hike is waiting for you! The trail will fork left and right. I would recommend going right due to the fact that the trail markers will be backwards if you go left.

The trail offers beautiful sights of sandstone rock formations and a waterfall. You also get to walk beside Grassy Creek.

Jared Treece | @jaredtreece

There are countless opportunities to see beautiful plants and foliage as well as wildlife. What you can see will vary depending on the time of year too!


There are wildflowers in spring, bees and turtles in summer, the trees changing in fall and dodo and geese in the winter.

The trail itself is relatively rugged and there will be obstacles to cross. This includes tree branches and roots, difficult rocks and muddy patches, especially after a rainfall.

Despite this, it is a great hike that would be perfect for an afternoon. It can be challenging at points but the scenery is definitely worth it.

Staff reporter Elizabeth Biernacki can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @EBiernacki_619.

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