Jutting unexpectedly out of bottomland farms, a spine of limestone bluffs walls out of the lowland farms of the Mississippi river valley in Illinois. The most majestic of these bluffs have been turned into a great hiking trail with lots of scenic views.


  • Lots of great scenic views of the Mississippi River valley from high up on the bluffs
  • Fascinating to see the giant holes from its history as a mine.
  • Helpful moles
  • A unique experience that is very different from most Missouri hikes but not much further away


  • Can be quite muddy so best to avoid this after lots of rain
  • Quite steep in spots, particularly right at the beginning. Not a great hike those weak in the heart or knees.



This 594-acre reserve in Monroe County offers 5 miles of trails. The 1.8 mile Salt Lick trail is the most spectacular, quickly rising above the surrounding lowland farms to one of the highest points in Monroe County (810-feet), it provides stunning views of the Mississippi River valley.

In all, there are three trails that form a couple different loops that let you pick your preferred distance and terrain. The Johnson Trail offers an easy 1.3 mile hike along the base of the bluff; the Salt Lick Point Trail is a 1.8 loop that provides beautiful views across the Mississippi River flood plain but is quite steep and ends with a trek along a road to get back to your car. The 1.9 mile Newman Trail connects to both the Johnson and Salt Lick Point Trails.


Salt Lick Point is named for the salt wells of the area; salt production was one of the first major industries in the area.