Mississippi Palisades State Park

Mississippi Palisades State Park ranks 8th on the list of best places to go camping near Chicago. This 2,500-acre state park sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois and contains a long and storied connection to Native American history. Campers can navigate the same dramatic bluffs, limestone caves, and wooded ravines the pathfinders of yore once coursed along the rock palisades. 15 miles of varied trails give hiking aficionados ample terrain, and rock climbers with their own equipment can tackle Twin Sister and Indian Head, two of the most popular formations open for scaling. Palisades is the word used to describe a line of lofty, steep cliffs usually seen along a river, and Mississippi Palisades, 3 miles north of Savanna in Carroll County, handsomely lives up to its name. Caves are evident as are dangerous sink holes-limestone caves that go straight down.

Erosion has carved intriguing rock formations, including Indian Head, with its aquiline characteristics, and Twin Sisters, a pair of humanoid figures on the bluff tops. The U.S. Interior Department recognized the remarkable nature of this area when in 1973 it designated acreage here as a national landmark. The park campground has 241 reservable campsites, with access to hiking and cycling trails as well as to the Mississippi River. Venture 30 miles north to one of the best small towns in America, Galena, and stroll cobblestone streets amid historic mansions and scenic rolling hills. From there, you can also book excursions like rafting trips or take on a number of cool bluff hikes along the Mississippi River.

Location: 16327A IL-84, Savanna, IL 61074, United States

Google Rating: 4.6/5


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