People are getting their cars washed, getting fresh haircuts and wearing shorts around here. It feels like spring, and most of us are completely stir-crazy and just want to get out. Well, you are in luck. If you are searching for an Illinois adventure, here are 10 places to have it.
1. Cache River State Natural Area
The Cache River is a 92 mile river going through southern Illinois. But what's stunning are the large, very old bald cypress trees sticking right out of the river. Be careful, though--there are river snakes!
2. Mississippi Palisades State Park
This stunning park is located at the confluences of the Mississippi and Apple Rivers. Giant stone bluffs provide remarkable overlooks of the rivers below.
3. Garden of the Gods
Consistently named one the top natural destination in Illinois, Garden of the Gods has amazed viewers for years. And we mean many years, as some of these rocks are 320 million years old. The rocks look particularly incredible when the sun hits them.
4. Starved Rock State Park
Oglesby is home to Starved Rock State Park, a park comprising a whopping 2600 acres. There are 18 canyons, tons of hiking trails, and a couple waterfalls.
5. Matthiessen State Park
Nearby in North Utica, Matthiessen State Park also offers loads of hiking opportunities. You will enjoy exploring the upper and lower dells, the main canyon, and the waterfalls.
6. Cave in Rock State Park
You will be super jazzed about this 204 acre park set off the Ohio River. There are 60 foot high hills as well as the giant cave, which has a 55 foot opening. Whoa!
7. Ferne Clyffe State Park
Goreville boasts this 2400 acre park. It's got everything you would want--hiking trails, fishing opportunities and waterfalls. Plus, you can even climb some of these stunning rock formations.
8. Giant City State Park
This 4,000 acre park located in Makanda offers plenty of opportunities for hiking. There are also two amazing places to go rock climbing.
9. Mississippi River
Yes, the mighty Mississippi is navigable at parts and is wonderful to take a boat out on. Pictured are some kayakers in Galena.
10. Rock Island Trail State Park
Illinois is full of great places to bike, but one of our favorites is the Rock Island Trail. It's 26 miles long, passing through Peoria and Stark counties.