If you haven’t been winter hiking in Southern Illinois, you should. We have very mild weather during the winter and it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside. There are no bugs on the trails, the crowds are very thin, the temperature is great, and some of the overlooks are more spectacular because you can see further without the leaves. Try to select a trail, though, that’s interesting without the greenery, such as one with bluffs or waterfalls. Quetil Trail is an easy trail to access from Alto Pass.
Alto Pass is a tiny town in Southern Illinois, right off highway 127. It’s claim to fame include the Bald Knob Cross (an 111 ft white cross that has additional great scenic views) and Alto Pass Vineyards (the first winery in Southern Illinois).
Following signs from Alto Pass for the “scenic overview,” there’s a picnic shelter and a cliff line to walk along with stunning views. Off to the South, you can see the giant Bald Knob Cross. The scenic overview is called “Cliff View Park” and is one of the best overlooks in Southern Illinois.