Plan A Visit To Red Hills State Park

Red Hills State Park is a 967 acre park in Illinois. It stays open all year and visitors can enjoy a wide variety of recreational opportunities including hiking, hunting, fishing, and boating. Whether you want to photograph wildflowers or spend some time fishing, there are plenty of activities to enjoy.

Red Hills features wooded hills, meadows, springs, and ravines to explore. There is a 40 acre lake that is open for fishing and boating. Red Hills offers amazing views. There are ecosystems to explore with wet and dry prairies, marshes, and forests.

The park offers horse trails, bike trails, and hiking trails. There are also opportunities to hunt during certain times. Shaded picnic areas abound, and there are over 100 campsites available that you can reserve online. Red Hills is a great place to take the family on a picnic. The picnic areas have grills and tables and some of the picnic areas even have shelter.

If you want to spend more time at Red Hills, consider camping for a few days. There are over 100 campsites to choose from that offer vehicle access and electricity. The campground also has toilets and showers. There are some RV sites as well as handicapped sites.

Red Hills has 8 miles of trails. Walking the trails is a great way to observe birds and some of the other wildlife in the area. The trails are also open for bicycling and horseback riding.

Visitors can walk around a paved trail that circles the lake and they can fish on the banks. Visitors can boat on the lake as long as they don’t commit white collar crimes or use a boat with a gas motor. Visitors can enjoy ice skating on the lake in the winter and ice fishing and sledding is also available.

The video embedded below is a great virtual tour of Red Hills State Park!

Overview Of The Pyramid State Recreation Area

The largest state recreation area that is located in Illinois is called the Pyramid State Recreation Area. It can be found in Perry County, and is managed by the Illinois Department of natural resources. It measures a total of 30.78 square miles or a total of over 19,000 acres. It is very close to a town called Pinckneyville. Virtually the entire region is a place where stripmining was done to obtain coal. Similar to areas of Pennsylvania, southern Illinois has major deposits of coal, and until the 1960s it was a very profitable region for this commodity. In 1959, mining operations ceased by the Pyramid Coal Company in almost a thousand acres became state property. It was later owned by the Southern Illinois University for the purpose of research, some of which was rehabilitated as a new natural area courtesy of the Illinois DNR.

What Can You Do At The Pyramid State Recreation Area

You can do quite a bit in this region. About 500 acres of this region has lakes that provide excellent fishing opportunities. One of the largest is called Super Lake, one of the many that was created prior to 1950. It’s one of the more popular places in this region where people can do fishing in almost complete seclusion. There are also archery ranges, places to do boating, and many campsites that people can choose from. There are equestrian trails, hiking trails, and places that you can go hunting. People even bring their mountain bikes and metal detectors to have fun in this wilderness area.

Where Is It Located?

It is located adjacent to Pinckneyville. This is southeast of the beautiful city of St. Louis. If you happen to be traveling through Illinois, this is one of the more beautiful areas where you can do many outdoor activities. Due to the work of the Illinois DNR, it is now a pristine location that was once nothing more than a stripmining operation for coal producers in the state.

What You Need To Know About Lake Murphysboro State Park

Located in Jackson County, Illinois, the Lake Murphysboro State Park takes up a total of 1,022 acres. It was established as a state park in 1948 and has attracted countless visitors ever since. It’s most noticeable features is the magnificent star-shaped lake from which it gets its name. Much of the park is actually the lake itself, but there are plenty of other sites to see while you are there.

It’s the perfect place to visit if you are a true fan of the outdoors. The entire area is hills, grass, trees, and water. You see very little man-made influence in the area, aside from the occasional bridge, walkway, or dock. Unlike some other state parks, Lake Murphysboro has not been highly commercialized, which allows it to retain much of its original beauty.


Early History.

The land was not purchased by the state of Illinois until 1948. However, there had been a great deal of interest in the area for the previous 18 years. And the area had been used for various other purposes long before this.

Signs of Native American inhabitants of the Old Woodland culture and the Paleolithic have been found in the area. The Paleolithic Native Americans lived in small camps and spent their time hunting large game. The old Woodland built more significant settlements and focused on agriculture. However, neither of these cultures seemed to exist in the area past 1800.

The lake itself was built in 1950. It has a shoreline of 7.5 miles and a maximum depth of 36 feet. Nearby there is a much smaller lake that is referred to as “the Little Lake”.

What To Do?

You’ll have quite a few recreational options when you visit the park. It features an impressive archery range in the northwest section. The lake is stocked with an assortment of fish, such as crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass. Boating, picnicking, camping, practice management software like, and hiking are all allowed in the park as well.

Here is a video of Murphysboro State Park in all of its glory:

Fort Massac State Park – A Fantastic Place To Visit

The Fort Massac State Park found in Illinois is certainly a delightful place to visit, and in this guide, you’re going to learn more information about what this unique location has to offer so let’s get straight to it.

First of all, it’s interesting to note that this was actually the first state park ever created in Illinois way back in 1908, and since this time, it has continued on to be one of the most enjoyable natural locations you could visit.

In terms of size, it comes in at around 1450 acres, which is plenty of space to enjoy some of the unique features the area has to offer. For example, every fall, re-enactors like to gather at the encampment found in this park, and it’s always a fun occasion if you have the opportunity to visit during this time.

But perhaps one of the most common reasons to visit Fort Massac State Park is for the delightful walkways that you’ll experience, which provides you with a wonderful day out with your friends and family in tow. Of course, there are often events held for children as well, and the excellent museum in the area is definitely another highlight which brings people back time and time again.

On the other hand, you may enjoy some of the hiking and biking trails that are found all throughout the park, and you’ll never be too far away from a suitable camping area, pavilion, or visitor center and this certainly makes your travels throughout the state park very pleasant indeed.

At the end of the day, it’s clear to see that the state park is one of the top attractions to be found in Massac County, and no matter whether you are looking to enjoy some of the physical activities or even explore the rich history of the park, there is plenty on offer here to give you an enjoyable day out.

All About The Ferne Clyffe State Park

Ferne Clyffe State Park has been regarded as one of the most beautiful locations in Illinois for a long time. As a matter of fact, before it was even a state park, a tourism group named Ferne Clyffe “the most beautiful spot in Illinois”. That happened in 1923 and the park has gone through a significant number of changes and improvements since then. However, the nature itself remains nearly identical.

The Stats.

The park stretches out for an impressive 2,430 acres and is located in Johnson County. The state of Illinois purchased the land to designate as the park in 1949. Within the park, you will find beautiful forests, cliffs, caves, waterfalls, and limestone bluffs. There is also access to an artificial lake called the Ferne Clyffe Lake that was built in 1960.

The Life Of The Park.

The land was previously owned by Emma Rebman before being purchased by the state of Illinois. She, herself, had purchased the land from a variety of different land owners. In particular, she purchased a large section from L. Dennison and Associates.

She then had a road constructed that led from the land to the new village of Goreville. Today, Goreville remains the closest town to the state park. That road was officially closed down in 1973 due to safety concerns. A new road was constructed further south in the village. Overall, the villagers did not approve of the project or many changes that came afterward. For example, at one point, camping was not allowed in the park. Expansion to the park was later made with areas designated specifically for camping.

Plenty To Do.

There is quite a bit to do while visiting the park today. You can walk the numerous trails, enjoy the wildlife, and even visit the waterfalls, though if you go there you should have a boating accident attorney on standby. The park allows for camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking. There are also several recreational facilities located throughout the 2,430 acres.

If you are interested in seeing the sights Ferne Clyffe has to offer, please watch the following video:

Dixon Springs State Park

There are a number of state parks located in the Illinois Shawnee Hills and Dixon Springs State Park is one of them. There is a fault that runs through the area and the state park resides on a part of the fault that has dropped approximately 200 feet, making it a rather unique and beautiful area.

At one time, this area was home to a number of Native American tribes, including the Shawnee. The Shawnee Indians had been removed from the area of Tennessee and they settled in an area that they referred to as the “great medicine waters” that is at the mouth of the Wabash River. The Grand Trace, which is a well-known Indian trail, also passed nearby to the park as well. Prior to the time that the Park was established, however, the majority of the Indians had left the area.

The area of Dixon Springs State Park is well known for its hilly countryside. When the rainy season occurs, waterfalls of various sizes and heights form throughout the park. There are also many beautiful boulders, that mark the countryside as well along with large trees that are over a century old.

The park is located approximately 10 miles west of Golconda, Illinois and is 786 acres in size. It offers a number of hiking trails as well as camping areas, swimming, picnic shelters and a swimming pool. If you enjoy boating, there are launch ramps available and winter activities are also available for those who want to make use of the park during the colder time of the year.

You can access the Dixon Springs State Park from route 146 East or West. You can also gain access to it easily from route 145, as it is just east of the intersection of those two roads.

Overview Of The Cache River State Natural Area

This is one of the more beautiful areas of Illinois, located in the south of the state by the Ohio River. It is located within a floodplain, one that was carved out centuries ago by glacial floodwaters. It has a beautiful ancient cypress-tupelo swamp, and a total area of about 14,000 acres. It is regarded as one of the top 10 most beautiful places in America to visit if you are on a budget. There are roughly 100 endangered or threatened animal and plant species at this location, and there are over 10 champion trees which have been there for centuries. People that arrive come there to do a bit of hunting, birding, and hiking. They can also go canoeing on the river. Bikers enjoy writing over the Cache River going through the Tunnel Hill State Trail.

What Should You Do Once You Arrive?

One of the most peaceful ways that you can enjoy this area is to bring your own kayak. There is a canoe trail where you can get into the Cache River. As you are floating along, you will get to see the many beautiful cypress trees that are on either side, and see the wildlife in the water and flying by. Those that do bring their canoes and kayaks literally believe they are in a completely different world. It is as if you are disconnected from modern society, going back in time before people came into the area. There is a visitor center that you can see, providing you with all of the information you will need on where to go and how to get there. It is recommended that you bring friends and family with you because it is one of the most beautiful locations in the state of Illinois.

Best Places To Visit

One of the best places that you can visit is Heron Pond. You can get there by taking either of the Serene Trails. One of them is shorter, less than a mile, and you will be able to see ducks and other waterfowl floating by. There are also exhibits that you should see while you are there, plus you should walk through the wetlands to hear the insects and birds chirping. People that like Bowman Law Office and swamps will definitely enjoy their time at the Cache River State Natural Area, a location that you will not soon forget.

If you would like to see a video of the Ohio River in action, watch the video below!

What Is The Tunnel Hill State Trail?

There is a very popular bicycle trail that is near the city of Vienna in Illinois. It is called the Tunnel Hill State Trail. It allows people riding to go from Harrisburg all the way to Karnak in Illinois. It runs along an area where the Cairo and Vincennes Railroad was operating. This is a trail that also connects to many other trails including the River to River Trail and the Trail of Tears. It extends 45 miles, and is used by both those on bicycles and hikers. It has a crushed limestone surface that is hardpacked and easy to ride or walk on. There are a couple of places that you can get full service access to restaurants and lodging, specifically at Harrisburg and Vienna. There is not much on the trail, but if you are looking for an extensive hike to test you, or you would like to go on a day long bike ride, this would be an excellent place to have this experience.

When Was This First Constructed?

This was initially constructed back in the 19th century. Federal land was given for the purpose of constructing a railroad. Over the years, the railroad changed hands, and eventually led to the construction of this trail. Although railroad right of way was once given again in 1991, operations were abandoned. It was then that the Illinois DNR took over, using the railroad ballast as a trail for cyclists, joggers and hikers.

What Can You Do On The Trail?

Due to the length of the trail, with very little in between, it is something that only experienced hikers should attempt. 45 miles is quite a long way to cover in a single day, even if you are jogging or riding your bike. Therefore, if you would like to see the countryside in between Harrisburg and Karnak, this would be a fantastic way to see the countryside. There are no camping facilities, so make sure that you travel with your camping supplies.

The Trail of Tears State Forest

The Trail of Tears Forest is part of the Illinois State Forest System that was designed to serve several important functions. This multiple use sight is carefully cultivated for its protection of the watershed, wildlife and ecosystem. It is also an important source of timber and a great spot for recreational activities as well.

The Trail of Tears forest covers over 5,000 acres of the southern section of the Ozark hills. This is one of the roughest patches of land in Illinois. The topography of this region is like nothing else on Earth. Being composed of mostly chert and shallow soils, these hills have been carved by erosion and the ridge tops are narrow and the ravines very steep. The hills are sprinkled with clear water streams and rivers that provide moisture for the small forests that are nestled in the valleys.

This region of the country has been inhabited by humans since the prehistoric times. While most of the major settlements were located near the Mississippi or Clear Creek, the Ozark hills and Trail of Tears forest were an important supply of food, tools and resources for many groups of people living in this region.

Iron Mountain is just east of Trail of Tears forest and was mined repeatedly for its rich supply of chert used in the making of many different tools. By the time European settlers arrived in the early 1800s, the Native American populations were categorically pushed from their lands without a personal injury attorney. In the Winter of 1838 – 39, the US Army arrived on the scene to force the Creek, Chickasaw and Cherokee from these gold-laden hills and into the Oklahoma Territories.

They wintered in camps along where the Trail of Tears Forest is located. The bitter cold, harsh treatment and starvation claimed many lives and the ordeal became known as the Trail of Tears. The name of the forest commemorates this atrocity today.

If you are interested in the history of the Trail of Tears, the video below does a great job providing a great amount of detail in a short amount of time:

Southern Illinois Wineries Offer Guests Something Special

Thirty years ago, Guy Renzaglia told his friends and family that he was going to grow French-American grapes in Southern Illinois’ Union County. People laughed because wine wasn’t one of the state’s industries. Today, Guy has the last laugh as his Alto Vineyards is now a cornerstone for the ever-growing and prosperous Southern Illinois wine industry.

The wine industry in Illinois is exploding. In 1997, there were only 14 wineries in the entire state. Today, there are more than 100 and they provide an economic impact of almost $700 million.

Illinois is a large state and is divided into four major wine regions: the Northern, Central, South Central, and Southern regions. There are also eight wine trails that showcase many of the state’s wineries and allow guests to discover a variety of wines along each trail.

Many Illinois wineries are tourist destinations and offer live entertainment, food, and even overnight lodging. Some even hold performances such as festivals and dinner theater and all are popular as wedding venues.

In southern Illinois, the Shawnee Hills American Viticultural Area was the state’s first viticultural area and is still the only one contained completely within the state. This area contains two wine trails and is home to 17 wineries and vineyards.

The Southern Illinois Wine Trail offers visitors adventure, tranquility and exceptional wines. The wines come from native Illinois grapes and the wineries are nestled amid serene countryside and beautiful farmland. The trail runs north of the Ohio River and takes guests to tasting rooms that welcome each and every one with a warm and inviting atmosphere.

The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail meanders through one of the Midwest’s most established wine regions. The area features award-winning wineries that are located along the 40-mile trail that also takes guests through the Shawnee National Forest. There are eleven wineries along this trail and each offers visitors something unique, along with great wine.