• 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…

  • Day Trip,  Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis,  Trips

    7 Great Day Trips from St. Louis

    Spring break and summer vacation are right around the corner. If you are looking to stay closer to home this year, here is a roundup of several great destinations all less than two hours from St. Louis. Load up the kids, pack all the snacks, and head out to explore these great destinations. * Be sure to check the websites of attractions before visiting for up to date COVID restrictions or closures. Ste. Genevieve, Missouri…

  • History,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    French Colonial History Comes Alive at Illinois’s Fort de Chartres

    Rising from the farm fields in southern Illinois is an impressive stone fortress celebrating 300 years of history. Long before the United States was established, the French ruled over southern Illinois. The proximity to the Mississippi River, the hunt for precious metals, and the rich farm ground established this area as of strategic importance. Fort de Chartres is one of the best historic sites in the state and recreates this era of Illinois’s history under…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    Fults Hill Prairie Preserve – Steep Hiking with Panoramic Views

    Bluff Road in southwestern Illinois is one of the most scenic drives in the area. Rugged bluffs rise high above the road on one side with farmland stretching toward the Mississippi River on the other. If you have ever wondered what the view is like from atop those rocky bluffs, check out the Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve. Located off Bluff Road near the tiny town of Fults, the hiking trail at this preserve will…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  Trips

    Best Hikes in Shawnee National Forest

    The Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois is one of our favorite areas to explore. You forget anything you ever thought about Illinois’s flat landscape when you view the rugged bluffs, trickling creeks, and dramatic overlooks that can be found in Shawnee. Shawnee has an amazing amount of scenic areas and parks to explore. There are trails available for all ages and abilities from a 1/4 easy trek to a multi-day backpacking adventure. It’s hard…