12 Scenic Trails To Explore In Illinois, One For Each Month Of The Year
Opportunities to hike throughout the year abound in the Prairie State. Whether you wish to see a waterfall, wildflowers, or a vista from an overlook, here are the 12 best scenic hikes in Illinois, one for each month of the year.
What do you think of these scenic hikes in Illinois? Have you hiked any of them? Let us know in the comments! You can also share your love of the great outdoors with fellow nature enthusiasts in our Illinois Nature Lovers Facebook group.
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The OIYS Visitor Center
Scenic Hikes in Illinois
December 22, 2022
What are some short-and-sweet scenic hikes in Illinois?
If you're yearning to hit the trails but don't have all day to devote to a trek, check out these short-and-sweet hikes in Illinois, all of which clock in under five miles and are located in some of the most scenic places in the state.
Starved Rock State Park. You can hike for as long or as little as you want to at Starved Rock--it's truly a choose your own adventure. There are canyons, waterfalls (hurry!), and awesome views of the Illinois River. Because you get to choose how long you walk, this is a great kid-friendly hike in Illinois.
Garden of the Gods. The trail going around the main observation area is around a third of a mile. There are other trails that take you further around the grounds.
Illinois Beach State Park. This state park offers 6.5 miles of Lake Michigan shores for you to enjoy. Whether you want to hike it all or just take a relaxing walk over part is totally up to you. Enjoy every minute- this is one of the most scenic hikes in Illinois!
Matthiessen State Park.This beautiful state park will surprise you, as it has gorgeous canyons and waterfalls just like its sister park to the north (Starved Rock). Enjoy bridges, streams, and even prairie while hiking at this scenic state park in Illinois!
Mississippi Palisades State Park. Incredible views courtesy of the Mississippi and Apple Rivers await at this park that's home to some of the best hikes in Illinois. There are 15 total miles of trails which are broken into many more manageable small portions (ranging from one to three miles).
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I'm an east coast girl living in a west coast world. I've worked in the entertainment industry for much of my adult life and I love photography, writing, and traveling around the U.S. as well as to far-flung locations around the world! Travel is my life and writing about it is a dream.