There sure are some spots in Illinois that seem truly magical, like they could serve as the backdrop of a Disney movie. That’s what I love about Illinois–some AMAZING scenes hiding right in front of us.
1. Starved Rock State Park
Isn't it pretty much a given that fairy tales have to have waterfalls? The waterfall at La Salle Canyon in Starved Rock State Park certainly does the trick.
2. Mississippi Palisades State Park
With all of its lushness and the magnitude of this river, it is completely worthy of being in a fairy tale. This area was once home to a lot of first people who took refuge in the stone bluffs.
3. Heron Pond
A swamp-like atmosphere and giant trees? These don't even seem real. But yes, these bald cypress trees are down in southern Illinois.
4. Garden of the Gods
Speaking of not even seeming real, the giant rocks at Garden of the Gods could certainly be in the background of any fairy tale. Located in Herod, this park has rocks that are hundreds of millions years old.
Cave-in-Rock has been home to actual villains like pirates and bootleggers, and so I could definitely see this cave with a 55 foot opening being home to a villain in a fairy tale.
6. Cahokia Mounds
These prehistoric structures are so simple and subtle and this is what makes them magical. Cahokia Mounds is actually the most sophisticated prehistoric building north of Mexico.
7. Giant City State Park
Giant City is full of magical things like giant bluffs, moss, large flowering mints and ferns. You truly will feel like you stepped back to a previous time.
8. Chinquapin Bluffs
Illinois used to be mostly prairie, but sadly, that is not the case anymore. However, there are prairies that have been preserved, like at the Nature Conservancy in Woodford County. This prairie is especially beautiful because--bonus--you get a beautiful wetland area.
9. Castle Rock State Park
Located in Oregon, Castle Rock State Park offers some phenomenal views of the Rock River. Sandstone bluffs, interesting rock formations, and ravines make this is a truly magical place.
Have you been to any of these magical sites? If so, be sure to share any pictures you take on the Only in Illinois Facebook page!