• 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…

  • 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…

  • Day Trip,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids

    Cedar Falls and Phantom Canyon Trails at Camp Ondessonk

    One of my adventure bucket list items had been to visit the tallest free-flowing waterfall in the state of Illinois. We managed to check off that item recently by hiking to Cedar Falls and Phantom Canyon, both located on the Camp Ondessonk property. Camp Ondessonk is the site of a Catholic summer camp in far southern Illinois. When summer camp is not in session, this private property is open to the public for hiking with permission. There are 25 miles…

  • Hiking,  Illinois,  Missouri,  Waterfall

    The Best Waterfall Hikes Near St. Louis

    While rainy days may keep most people away from the trails, wet weather is the best time for waterfall hunting. The St. Louis area may not have the continuously flowing waterfalls of other states, but heavy spring rains transform ordinary trickles into rushing cascades. Try to time your visit to these places after a good downpour. Bring those boots, brave the muddy trails, and ready your camera for an adventure. Here are 25 of the best waterfalls to explore around…