Apple River Canyon State Park
Apple River Canyon State Park is in the hilly northwest corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border. Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife characterize this area. Once a part of a vast sea bottom that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, the scenic canyon area was formed by the action of the winding waters of the Apple River.
This place is amazing. Its popularity is growing and you must take advantage of its exclusivity while you can. It's a secrete elk kept. Great to visit any time. The river is small and has a low current, but it's nice to get in and fish. Great star gazing spot. A lot of good spots to take sky pics.
Beautiful spot! We camped for the weekend in early April and enjoyed the quiet park and the canyon. The campground was clean, with a fire pit and picnic table at each campsite, and the vault toilet was clean and was sanitized every day we were there. (And had toilet paper.) Firewood was available for purchase at a stop just outside the state park, if you're coming from a different part of the state like we did. Staff were really friendly -- Dave even offered to help us move our tent and gear when we decided to swap campsites after the first night.
Great place for "primitive" camping (no showers). The pit toilets were clean and well maintained. The sites are well shaded and separate from each other. Good hiking near the stream.
A pretty little state park preserved in the midst of thousands of acres of farmland dotted with big red barns and silos. Nice short hiking trails. The picturesque Apple River winding through the canyon is supposed to have good fishing. The park is 30 minutes from 19th century Galena. A great day trip from Chicago. Memorable for me because I saw a magnificent American bald eagle in the wild!
Fun adventure hike for the family. Hiking boots might come handy when the path gets slippery / muddy for more traction, especially when you are walking parallel to the river up on a hill