Illinois April 06, 2019
6 Spots In Illinois Where You Can Enjoy The Mountains Of The Midwest
Most of the middle of the country is known as a horizontal desert with slightly sloping hills but mostly fields and prairies. If you look a close enough, though, you’ll notice that there are Midwest mountains in Illinois you may have missed.
Of course, the Land of Lincoln doesn’t have any actual mountains, but you can check out these six cool places and pretend. From wicked rock formations to the highest elevations in the state, this list will have you feeling on top of the world.
1. Charles Mound
Located in Scales Mound near Galena, this is the highest natural elevation in all of Illinois. At 1,235 feet above sea level, it offers lovely views atop the plateaus that overlook the river valley. You can literally see the lowest point in the state (the Mississippi River) from the highest point. This historic hiking hill is located on private property, and the owners allow access the first weekend of each month June through September.
2. Chestnut Mountain Resort
Daviess County actually has two Midwest mountains to check out. This one is located at a fabulous lodge that is open all year long and which features guestrooms, restaurants, event space, and all sorts of on-site attractions like river cruises, segway tours, a zipline, an alpine slide, and winter skiing and snowboarding. The slopes are 3,500 feet high with a 475-foot vertical drop. Yet again, you'll be able to see the Mississippi River from this uniquely high vantage point.
3. Garden of the Gods
The opposite end of the state is known for its high points too. The Shawnee National Forest is arguably the most beautiful part of Illinois, and it is rife in rock formations that are basically mini mountains. In total, the area spans 3,300 acres and is essentially a garden of sandstone sculptures that have been molded by wind over millions of years. Visitors love to climb these unique natural wonders that stretch more than 100 feet tall and reach elevations of more than 800 feet.
4. Starved Rock State Park
One of the most popular natural attractions in the Land of Lincoln, this amazing state park reaches an elevation of 548 feet. It is most recognizable for the giant rock formation that gives it its name. It is situated along the south bank of the Illinois River, making it one of the most scenic places to hike and rock climb. It is an especially lovely place to find waterfalls.
5. Fox River Trail
Believe it or not, there's a little-known trail along a river in northern Illinois that reaches some of the highest elevations in the state too. The highest point is actually 738 feet above sea level on this 40-mile trail, and though it is less mountainous, it is a great biking and hiking path that connects a plethora of towns and communities.
6. Bald Knob
Another of Illinois's highest points can be seen for 7,500 square-mile radius in southern Illinois. It features the Cross of Peace, which stands 111 feet tall and 1,034 feet above sea level. The hilly views all around will have you feeling like you're in the midst of the Midwest mountains.
For more fun adventures, check out these
eight caves in Illinois that will transport you to a whole other world.
What other Midwest mountains can you think of? Share your thoughts with us below in the comments.