River to River Trail
ElevationAscent: 16,981' 5,176 m
Descent: -16,975' -5,174 m
High: 921' 281 m
Low: 351' 107 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)
Popular hikes nearby
0.8 mi 1.2 km • Out and Back • 116 ft Ascent 35.46 m Ascent
Rim Rock/Pounds Hollow Out and Back
2.7 mi 4.4 km • Loop • 347 ft Ascent 105.87 m Ascent
Garden of the Gods - Outer Loop
3.4 mi 5.4 km • Loop • 418 ft Ascent 127.42 m Ascent
Indian Kitchen Loop
4.8 mi 7.8 km • Loop • 359 ft Ascent 109.35 m Ascent
4.5 mi 7.2 km • Loop • 410 ft Ascent 125.04 m Ascent
Happy Hollow Loop
6.7 mi 10.7 km • Point to Point • 504 ft Ascent 153.57 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“This 160-mile trail spans from the Ohio River to the Mississippi River. Updated trail based on 2017 cartographer maps.”— Joe Kempf
- Stay on trails.
- Designated wilderness' for primitive recreation. Garden of the Gods, Lusk Creek & Bay Creek Wilderness', groups limited to 10 people.
- Use exisiting campsites. Follow Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics.
- No camping in Natural Areas; marked on ground w/yellow posts labeled "Natural Area".
- Camp/wash min. 150ft away from trails.
The majority of this long distance trail heads through public lands (national forest / state parks), however, a couple segments use easements on private land, please respect these parcels as you cross them. Along the trail, revel at the quiet beauty of the bluffs above Cedar Lake, breathtaking sunsets at Garden of the Gods, and migrating waterfowl who use the surrounding floodplains of the Mississippi River to roost or find temporary shelter.
- No permits/reservations necessary.
- No permits required for designated wilderness camping.
- Open Seasons Year-round
- Busiest Seasons: April/May and September/October
- Forest HQ: (618) 253-7114
- Treat/filter water. Creeks/streams not reliable sources during periods of no rain.
- Overnight parking allowed at trailheads & along Forest Roads. When parking along Forest Roads, do not block traffic or cause resource damage on soft soil/vegetation.
Campgrounds near the River to River Trail (fee / not free):
- Camp Cadiz
- Garden of the Gods
- Ferne Clyffe State Park
- Giant City State Park
Primitive Camping Outside of Campgrounds:
- Primitive camping is allowed in the Shawnee National Forest with the exception of developed recreation areas, 80 natural areas, on lake shores, near streams or on trails. Equestrian camping is not allowed in Wilderness. Primitive camping is free and is allowed any time of year. Do not trespass on private land and do not cut down live trees, shrubs or other vegetation. Clean up all personal garbage and make sure all fires are completely out. Campers may camp up to 14 continuous days, but no permanent structures may be built.
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: USFS - Shawnee National Forest Office