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Little Grand Canyon, Little Grand Canyon Trail, Poplar Ridge, Jackson County, Illinois, United States of America (37.68042 -89.39519)
Erosion carved this deep box canyon from the sandstone of the Shawnee Hills, and it opens into the floodplain of the Mississippi River near Turkey Bayou. The canyon contains several seasonal and a few permanent waterfalls, some descending through dramatic cascades of sculpted sandstone. The 3.6-mile (5.8 km) trail is marked by white diamond blazes and begins in the upland hardwood forest. The trail then descends through a steep and sometimes slippery sandstone side canyon to the lusher, damper habitat of the canyon floor. The ascent from the canyon requires a small amount of climbing at the Three Sisters Waterfall. Stone steps on parts of the trail were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, not by Native Americans as some believe. There is about a 350-foot (110 m) difference in elevation between the bottom of the canyon and the trailhead. The trailhead facilities include a picnic area and pit toilet, and no water is available. Hikers should be aware of unmarked and unguarded cliff edges and the possibility of flash floods during heavy rain.