This is a fairly short hike if you go by this set of directions, 3.7 miles by the Avenza maps app. There are some steep hills and very muddy area on the way in. This hike is MUCH BETTER during leaf off, and is pretty grown up in the Summer. I just wear long pants for the poison ivy and Permethrin on my clothes and bear it for the exercise. Got to keep the legs and mind happy. Note Easter Basket Arch is N37 30.257 W88 46.864 You may walk past it on the trail around the lower rim.
There are actually two ways in. You can take this way, or go to the North end of Garfield Road and Follow the R2R to the creek crossing at the North East corner of the track on the map. This is VERY weedy in the summer. Make sure and follow the trail in the woods NOT the overgrown roadbed.
This page will be following the better route opened by the Cedar Lake campground on a disused old public roadbed. It is public access. It is TERRIBLE in the transition across the creek into Shawnee woods You will make it, but it is always muddy. It gets better.
A couple of IMPORTANT notes. There are several extra trails in the area. The first trail you will see to the North almost to Tall Falls has a round engraved wooden sign saying High Falls with a red tape. DO NOT GO THIS WAY!
I took it once and it’s not a well traveled way. Stick to the main trail a short way further and you will see another trail well used but not signed heading down and North. from the rim When I was here last it had orange tape around a tree to mark it. There is a split East and West here. Go Right (East) You will make the circuit and come back on the Left trail.
You can also take Garfield Road to the end and pull off at the curve East, and take the trail through the woods on the left that follows the overgrown road until it turns North and follows the powerline a short way then East again. This way isn’t as muddy but is a little longer as it is the River to River trail until it connects to the loop at the top right on the map. This is the way we went this time because it had been raining. (Good for waterfalls, bad for the trail)
As you hike the R2R trail East, you will be following along the South side of a creek. You will get to a creek crossing with a clearing and fire ring. This is your connection with the Cedar Wonders trail. Top right on the map.
Go back out the way you came in and continue uphill to the West you will get to an intersection. To the left is to the top and the muddy way back to the start of Garfield road. to complete the circuit and see JD Falls, continue straight and downhill along the base of the bluff. (I refuse to call it Butterfly trail.)
Soon after that window, you will come out at a clearing, walk across the top of this waterfall and down to the bottom here. This is JD falls.