The Best Photography in Illinois

Looking for the best photography in Illinois? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Illinois. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top photography spots in and near Illinois

  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike Ottawa Canyon at Starved Rock State Park

    5.0
    3.9 mi
    This canyon is not as popular as some of the others in this park but it is my favorite by far. You can either hike the full 3.9 miles from the visitor center or you can jump in your car and head over to one of the parking lots on the east side for a shorter hike. Either way you will not be disap...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike the Lower Dells at Matthiessen State Park

    4.8
    3.5 mi / 250 ft gain
    Starting off right from the parking lot at Matthiessen State Park, follow the trail markers through the forest, across beautiful bridges, and find your way to one of the many stunning waterfalls. Depending on when you go, the water level will vary greatly. During the summer months the water level...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike to Starved Rock's La Salle Canyon

    4.0
    4.4 mi / 370 ft gain
    This out-and-back trail is one of the parks longest trails. Starting from the visitors center it is 2.2 mile hike one way and 4.4 miles if you go out and back. The trail is very much worth the long trek. You enjoy the views and fresh air of the Illinois river. You will also walk past the Illinois...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike the Upper Dells of Matthiessen State Park

    4.3
    2.2 mi / 627 ft gain
    From the start of the parking lot you will cross a picnic area to your left where you can have a bite to eat before or after your hike. The trailhead starts off with a couple flights of stair leading you down to the bridge. After taking in the spectacular views at the top of the waterfall you wil...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike to Wildcat Canyon at Starved Rock SP

    4.5
    2 mi
    If you happen to find yourself in the Chicagoland area be sure to check out the Wildcat Canyon hike at Starved Rock State Park.  This is a 2 mile out and back hike from the visitor's center that leads to the largest waterfall in the park.  There are two viewpoints from the top of the canyon or yo...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike Starved Rock's French Canyon

    4.5
    0.4 mi
    Starting from the visitors center or the parks restaurant, depending on where you parked. If you were forced to park by the restaurant because of a busy day, you will start the trail head with a map of the park. You will follow the tallest stairs of the park down to the visitors center where the ...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike to St. Louis Canyon at Starved Rock State Park

    3 mi
    Starved Rock has some very interesting rock formations you can explore.  The valley was formed by a series of floods as glacial melt waters broke through moraines, sending torrents of flood water surging across the land that eventually eroded the sandstone and sedimentary rock.  If you arrive in ...
    Read more
  • Stonefort, Illinois

    Hike to Burden Falls

    4.0
    0.8 mi
    Located in the Shawnee National Forest near Stonefort, Burden Falls, though perhaps small by other standards, is among the highest in Illinois. There are many side trails to explore, making this a great spot for birders and photographers. The hike is a 0.8 mile moderately rated loop trail. Thoug...
    Read more
  • Lisle, Illinois

    Hike the Morton Arboretum's Main Trail Loops

    5 mi / 0 ft gain
    The Morton Arboretum is located off of Route 53 in Lisle, IL. The arboretum spans both the east and west sides of the road. Head to the east side of the park to access the Main Trail Loops. Visitors have to pay a small fee to enter the arboretum ($14 April through November, $9 December through Ma...
    Read more
  • Simpson, Illinois

    Climb Up the Trigg Observation Tower

    5.0
    Trusting in the iron supporting the stairs is difficult until you step on the wood, which soon become your main concern. A fun test for a fear of heights.
    Read more
  • Evanston, Illinois

    Catch a Sunrise at The Lakefill

    5.0
    From the Northwestern University campus, head to the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts to access the southern-most section of The Lakefill. If driving, parking is usually available nearby on Sheridan Road, to the southwest of The Lakefill. Once at the Ryan Center, take the pedestrian bridge on the...
    Read more
  • Topeka, Illinois

    Backpack the Yellow Trail at Sand Ridge State Forest

    14.8 mi
    Park in Parking lot 2 on E. Co. Rd. 2300 N - from there you'll find the trail head for the Yellow/Red Trails. The Yellow Trail is the large 14.8 mile loop you'll follow for the whole trip. Start your hike by heading north on the trail; at this point the Yellow Trail is combined with the Red Trail...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike Lover's Leap Overlook Trail

    1.8 mi / 285 ft gain
    Starved Rock State Park is just outside of Oglesby, Illinois. The park features sandstone bluffs and the Illinois River runs through the park. Dogs are allowed on trail if kept on leash. The trail is open year-round for a variety of activities. The Lover's Leap Overlook Trail is rated as beginne...
    Read more
  • Chicago, Illinois

    Explore Chicago's Luire Garden

    Visiting Chicago I was on a mission to find a great outdoors spot to be in. This definitely fulfilled my goal of finding a beautiful garden to hangout in! There are plenty of different paths and areas to explore just within the city! Location Located in Millennium Park it will be easy to find, t...
    Read more
  • Oak Brook, Illinois

    Run the Fullersburg Woods Loop

    4.0
    6 mi
    This is a six-mile loop along the banks of the Salt Creek in Oakbrook, IL. The flat trail features trees and wildflowers (great walk to do in autumn). Trail is also good for bike riders. There is a picnic area and the Graue Mill and Museum. Graue Mill is 150 years old and played a part in the Und...
    Read more
  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike the French Canyon Trail

    2.6 mi / 410 ft gain
    Starved Rock State Park features great opportunities to see eagles and other birds. The trail is open year round for a variety of activities (fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing). Dogs are allowed on the trail if kept on leash. 
    Read more