03° Burden Falls


Burden Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the state of Illinois, measured in total, with the main falls being about 20 feet tall off a sandstone ledge and the rest of the cascades down below accounting for the other 80 feet. Burden Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the Shawnee National Forest. The falls are right next to the road and parking lot making them a very popular attraction for those not looking for a long hike. Some smaller, upper falls can be seen from the parking lot with the main attraction being a short walk through the creek, downstream from there. There are multiple places to enjoy the view from the top of the waterfall, but getting to the bottom takes a little finesse. You can cross the creek above the falls and follow a short, narrow ledge down and around to the right (as you’re looking down it) of the falls. A few easy climbs down some boulders and you’ll find yourself on the ground again and can follow the trail down to the water below the falls. This is where some of the most impressive views can be taken in. The area that drains into Burden Falls is massive, and the waterfall can have impressive flows even up to a couple weeks after a good rain. This is a great spot when you want a solid waterfall shot, you can’t make it out directly after a rain, and/or you don’t want to carry your gear a long distance.

Difficulty: Upper Falls - Very Easy, Below Main Fall - Moderate

Access: Road Side

Parking: Lot

Lat. Lon: 37.563530, -88.642391

Photowalk Date/Time: See Community Page

Mapbox Map of -88.642391,37.563530