Nature May 25, 2016
These 12 Breathtaking Views In Illinois Could Be Straight Out Of The Movies
Illinois is full of some truly awesome views, and you don’t need to be looking out of a skyscraper to go “Wow!” Here are 12 of the best views Illinois has to offer.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Mississippi Palisades State Park (Savanna)
This park is located at the confluence of the Apple and Mississippi Rivers. The rivers are surrounded by large bluffs and lush plants. This park is 2500 acres and has loads of places to climb and hike.
2. Cache River Natural Area (Belknap)
This natural area looks like something out of the deep south. It is a true bog, with deep greens and large trees that seem to sprout out of nowhere. Some are 1,000 years old and 40 feet across in circumference.
3. Garden of the Gods (Herod)
Garden of the Gods was formed some 300 million years ago. These bluffs stand hundreds of feet below the vast expanse of land around them. Sunsets and panoramic views are reason alone to come down here.
4. Inspiration Point (Wolf Lake)
This spot has an awesome view of the Mississippi River and Big Muddy bottomlands. You will need to climb to get to this view, but it is so worth it. There are ample opportunities to go bird watching as well.
5. Starved Rock State Park (Utica)
Starved Rock is the state's most visited park and it is easy to see why. There are a series of trails that wind through caves, canyons and waterfalls. Loads of observation points and cool trees make this a place you definitely want to see.
6. Rock Cut State Park (Loves Park)
This state park is 3,000 acres with two lakes: Pierce and Olson Lake. Hiking trails wind through rolling plains. There are loads of places to camp and even to go horseback riding.
7. Illinois Beach State Park (Zion)
Beaches in Illinois are at a premium. There just simply aren't that many. This gorgeous state park has 6.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.
8. Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville)
It's hard to believe than a thousand years ago, this town was more populated than London. This was the home to the most sophisticated pre-Columbian civilization north of Mexico at the time. You can see the mounds that still exist.
9. Grandview Drive (Peoria)
This drive was made in 1903, but the nature has been here for years. It is the only linear park in the National Register of Historic Places. President Teddy Roosevelt once called it "the world's most beautiful drive." See if you agree.
10. Matthiessen State Park (Norh Utica)
Canyons, caves and waterfalls provide plenty of visual interest. What sets this park apart is the dells. There are upper and lower dells. The lower dells provide truly stunning views of the park from below.
11. Giant City State Park (Makanda)
This park was formed some 12,000 years ago. As you can see from the picture, there are some very unique and awesome geological formations. These are huge bluffs of sandstone that have smatterings of interesting ferns growing out of them.
12. Cave in the Rock (Cave in Rock)
This cave has a massive 55 foot mouth, and it is scenic as it overlooks the Ohio River. The cave is made out of limestone and it was carved from water thousands of years ago. It has been home to numerous people, including native peoples, bandits and bootleggers. The park is more than just the cave, and it has some awesome trails to walk through.
What do you think of this list? Have you been to any of these sites?