Most people start at the entrance of the Spillway Recreation Area, which has parking along the road and a small picnic area with boat launch and dog-friendly beach. The trail starts with a concrete surface that follows along Carlyle Lake. The first section is 2.3 miles and loops around the park and south along the confluence of Kaskaskia River into the lake. In this section is open fields and forests, surrounding a small recreational area with bathrooms, water fountains, and trash bins, along with three different bridges to cross.
The scenic section is gorgeous, but that connects to the more rural part that follows along the south part of the lake, with views of agricultural fields, forests, prairies, and wetlands restorations. After a mile or so, the trail connects to the earthen levees that that mold along the lake's edges, giving hikers a gorgeous elevated view of the area.
The path is not open to motorized vehicles, but other activities are allowed like roller skating, skateboarding, fishing, camping, and bicycling. After traveling along 7 miles of levees, the trail begins to level out again and comes to an end at a small trailhead in the middle of a field on the side of the road, the only thing marking it an open lot with space to park.
Whether you're an advanced hiker or just looking for a fun place to walk with your pup, this trail is for all skill types and does not lack on any of the views and exquisite scenery.