• Day Trip,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids

    Family Travel Guide to Carlyle Lake and Eldon Hazlet State Park

    Less than an hour east of St. Louis you can explore Illinois’s largest manmade lake. Carlyle Lake is a popular lake for sailing, camping, fishing, hiking, and more. There are several state parks and recreation areas located along the shores of the lake with Eldon Hazlet being the largest. This recreation area is a great spot to spend a day or weekend on the lake without having to travel far. Read on for a family travel guide to both Carlyle…

  • Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri

    Big Adventure at Big Sugar Creek State Park

    As much as we love Missouri’s more popular state parks such as Johnson’s Shut-Ins, Elephant Rocks, or Roaring River, sometimes its nice to venture to a quieter park. You can find this solitude at Big Sugar Creek State Park. Located in far southwest Missouri, this lovely park is big on views but low on crowds or development. About Big Sugar Creek State Park Established in 1992, Big Sugar Creek State Park has a wild feel. Do not expect well groomed…

  • Day Trip,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids

    Rugged Adventure Awaits on the Rim Rock Recreation Trail

    The Shawnee National Forest of southern Illinois is one of our top areas to explore. There are endless hiking options for all abilities. One of our favorite hikes with kids in Shawnee is the Rim Rock National Recreation Trail. This moderate hike offers a rugged, yet kid friendly adventure with scenic views and stunning sandstone formations. Rim Rock Hiking Trail Distance: 0.8 mile round trip for upper trail. 0.7 mile one one on lower trail. Difficulty:ย 2/5 for upper trail which…

  • Day Trip,  Hiking,  History,  Illinois,  Kids

    Explore a Prehistoric Settlement at Millstone Bluff

    Millstone Bluff is a historic gem tucked within the Shawnee National Forest of southern Illinois. This archaeological site is not very well known, but worth a visit to view the remains of a prehistoric Native American village. A short and easy trail circles that site and is suitable for the whole family. History of Millstone Bluff The topography of Millstone Bluff rises 320 feet above the valley below. At the top of this mesa-like bluff, the Mississippian peoples constructed a…

  • Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri

    Take a Hike at Young Conservation Area

    Young Conservation Area is another one of several great conservation areas in the Eureka, Missouri area. This conservation area is part of the LaBarque Creek watershed filled with diverse species of aquatic and plant life. The park contains two hiking trail loops plus creeks and a pond. Hiking Trails Young Conservation Area contains two hiking trail loops. The 3 mile Taconic Loop Trail winds along LaBarque Creek past seasonal wildflowers and through a pine tree grove. The 3.5 mile LaBarque…