River to River Trail and Shawnee Forest Exploration
River to River Trail Hike
Cedar Wonders Hike -UPDATED! New trip 4-19-22

Cedar Wonders Hike -UPDATED! New trip 4-19-22

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)

Taking the R2R trail, you get to see some pretty decent bluffs and caves.
Worth a look around.

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.

There is a sign there to carry your trash out. Follow that trail along the creek by the sign at the camping area. Take that trail nearly due South.
There was a tiny waterfall on the way that day.
Easter Basket Arch!
It’s small, but very unique.
Continuing on up the creek, you will find this user made sign. There are a lot of butterflies tacked here and there in different states of weathering. Hopefully they will get taken out when then the person who put them illegally there for what they think is a good cause will someday pack it all out. I didn’t have the heart to mess with anything. You probably shouldn’t either. You can take pictures with them out of the frame.
When you see this nearly hidden entrance go through it. It will open to the left.
You will pop out here with a great view of Tall Falls!

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.)

An interesting shelter bluff.
A waterfall I haven’t noticed before. I probably should have gone down and looked at it but didn’t feel like climbing back up at the time.
You get to some more interesting bluffs along the way. Daylight through the base on the left.
I found a very interesting “Window” on the way that isn’t that noticable. (next picture) I’ll name it “corner window” if it isn’t already named.

You have to climb up a gap a little to see this angle. It isn’t an obvious window from the ground.
But it is!
Only one more picture I promise.

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.

A nice little cave to get a back view of the falls.
Lots of interesting stuff on the way to see.
It will flatten out and take you right back to the clearing and the R2R trail again. Just go back along the R2R trail to your car.