This Is The Crown Jewel Of Illinois' Hidden Natural Wonders... And You Need To Visit
You might have heard of the Ozarks before – that area in Arkansas and Missouri with mountainous regions. But did you know that Illinois has Ozarks? Now, they’re not generally considered part of the “actual” Ozarks, but they are pretty amazing. Really, within a very small portion of the state (the very bottom) is a collection of some of the coolest attractions in the entire state. The best part is that they are very cheap or free to see. Here are the 10 you have to hit up.
1. Garden of the Gods
These rocks were formed over 320 million years ago. They offer one of the greatest views of the Shawnee National Forest.
2. Bell Smith Springs
Crystal clear waters are set against the backdrop of epic rock formations. Devil's Backbone truly looks like over-sized vertebrae.
3. Ferne Clyffe State Park
This has been a marvel for the last 100 years. Large rocks and waterfalls make this a place you'll want to come back to.
4. Burden Falls
Burden Falls has a fall that goes 35 feet from the lip to the plunge pool. A U-shaped canyon makes it more intimate.
5. Cache River Natural Area
You cannot appreciate the greens of the water or the size of the trees until you visit in person. A gorgeous boardwalk takes you over the swamp and right next to some trees that are 1,000 years old.
6. Dixon Springs
This park is on a block of rock that dropped 200 feet during a shift. The town was once a spa for people looking to gain the benefits of the mineral-enriched water.
7. Cave in Rock
You can see that this cave is huge from the picture. But that 55 foot opening looks even bigger when you are entering the cave.
8. Rim Rock
This trail leads around the rim of a rock escarpment. It meanders over the edge of an amazing rock top, and you'll get a great view of a canyon below.
9. Jackson Falls
High bluffs make this a popular place for climbers. There are 500 routes in total, which average 50-60 feet in height.
10. High Knob Vista
This spot will give you a panoramic view of Shawnee Forest. It is a favorite for hikers and horseback riders alike.
Have I convinced you to check out the Illinois Ozarks? What do you think?
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