• 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…

  • Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Giant City State Park – Devil’s Standtable and Indian Creek Nature Trails

    Giant City State Park is one of the best state parks in all of Illinois. The park is filled with huge and rugged rock formations. All of the trails have something to offer, but two of the shortest and most kid-friendly trails at the park are the Devil’s Standtable Trail and the Indian Creek Shelter Nature Trail. Devil’s Standtable Trail Distance: 0.25 mile loop Difficulty: 2/5. Short and very mild inclines. Scenic Value: 4/5. While the standtable is interesting, the huge…

  • Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Waterfalls and Wildflowers at Rocky Bluff Trail

    The Rocky Bluff Trail can be found at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge near Marion, Illinois. The refuge is a popular spot for fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. A pass is required to visit, but it’s only $2. There are six different hiking trails within the refuge. The Rocky Bluff Trail passes the most spectacular spots a the refuge including wet weather waterfalls, cliffs, and stunning wildflowers. Rocky Bluff Trail Distance: 2.2 mile loop. You can also take…