• Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    Hiking Illinois’s White Rock Nature Preserve

    If you are looking for an Illinois hike big on views and low on crowds, check out White Rock Nature Preserve. Located near the more popular Salt Lick Point Reserve, White Rock is less well known and offers a quieter experience. The trails at White Rock also stay further back from steep bluff edges for those with young children or a fear of heights. History of White Rock Preserve During the Great Depression, miners cut and hauled limestone from the…

  • Day Trip,  History,  Illinois,  Kids

    Family Fun in Springfield, Illinois

    We were recently in Springfield, Illinois for another event and managed to squeeze in some sightseeing as well. This state capital is full of history and attractions. Even better, many of the things to see and do are free! The biggest draw here is the huge collection of buildings and museums related to Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln made his home in Springfield for 17 years before becoming president of the United States in 1861. The downtown area is full of various…

  • Day Trip,  Hikes,  Illinois

    Visit Illinois’s First State Park at Fort Massac

    Fort Massac State Park is located in far southern Illinois along the Ohio River. Located in the town of Metropolis, this park is a must see. The history and views of this park make it a great road trip stop if driving on I-24. History The French first erected a fort here in 1757 which was then surrendered to the British. George Rogers Clark, the older brother of William Clark, led a group of men who captured the fort in…

  • Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Beaver Dam State Park

    Beaver Dam is a small state park in west-central Illinois. Located in a more rural area, this state park is less well known but worth exploring. Situated in an oak/hickory woodland, Beaver Dam State Park offers a variety of recreational opportunities including fishing, picnicking, hiking, and both tent and trailer camping. There is also a restaurant and store open daily with paddle boat and canoe rentals available. History Beavers first built several dams along a stream in the valley here…

  • Day Trip,  Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Explore an Illinois Bayou at Cache River Natural Area

    You may feel transported to a Louisiana bayou when you first visit Cache River State Natural Area. This unique landscape in southern Illinois preserves a rare remainder of the cypress swamps and bottomland hardwood forests that once existed in the Ohio River floodplain. Settlers attempted in the past to drain the wetlands and convert the land to farmland. Today, the Cache River Wetlands is one of the few remaining wetlands in the area and provides habitat for a diverse variety…