Photo Friday: Nature Walk

We hiked through Starved Rock State Park last weekend and got a good reminder that Illinois isn’t completely flat after all. The trails themselves are not all that difficult, but depending upon the chosen path, they can add up to a good, long walk. Also, RunKeeper showed a total elevation change of 406 feet, and there was one climb with 137 stairs to the top. It was kind of amusing seeing some people struggle to carry strollers up that high.

We’d visited Starved Rock proper before, so this time we took a longer trail to Wildcat Canyon to check out the waterfall. It’s not tremendous, but the canyon itself is over 100′ tall and there’s a natural wading pool at the bottom.

Wildcat Canyon Waterfall

In the Winter, this turns into an icefall. That would be something to see.

Unfortunately it was crowded that day, so I didn’t get a good photo of the whole canyon. The trails were fairly open, but people tended to congregate at all the sites.

We also spotted some wildlife from some of the trails, like this badger:

Hungry Badger

Nom nom nom

Not 100 yards down the trail from him, we spotted a doe and her fawn taking shelter high up on a hillside. We get plenty of deer around our place, but the badger was the first the kids had seen in the wild.

If you find yourself driving I-80 through Illinois and you have some time to kill, Starved Rock is a great place to stop and take a break.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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