White Pines Forest State Park
Located in the heart of the Rock River valley, the 385-acre White Pines Forest State Park is the south boundary of the historic Chicago-Iowa Trail. Today, the park is perfect for family getaways to enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and picnicking. With serene, picturesque beauty, and modern lodge facilities amidst a beautiful forest, there is no better place to retreat from the everyday routine than the open spaces at White Pines.
Great hiking, but lackluster camping. The trails are hilly and usually only wide enough for one person at a time, but the frequent stream crossings (concrete stones provide a dry walk path) and colorful dragonflies make it an enjoyable hike. We did not pick up any ticks here. Unfortunately, the map of the trails is incorrect so some guess-work is required to find your way around. As for the camping, I found the sites to be very close together and many were simply in the median between lanes of traffic. I should point out that I haven't encountered any campgrounds any more spaced out in this proximity to Chicago. Quiet hours were not enforced at all - which is either a pro or a con depending on your preferences. No showers, but there are latrines (bring a flashlight) and dumpsters throughout.
Mrs. American Dream Maker
This is one of our favorite places - it has it all! Perfect for hiking, picnics, taking photographs and even doing a little fishing. In the winter they have a Christmas tree forest and visits with Santa that the kids love. And the food at the restaurant is homecooked deliciousness! We'll be coming back for years. ❤
Good camping and some easy hiking. One problem about camping - trains come rolling through all night long, and blow horns frequently. Must be some regulation stipulating sounding horns at certain locations because every train had the same pattern of horn blasts. Trains are not right at park, but not very far away. Went fishing in river hoping to catch some bluegill, and was surprised when my 5 year old grandson pulled out (with help) a 1 1/2 - 2 pound trout. Made his weekend.
This location has beautiful trails. The lookout peak isn't as amazing as I thought it would be, and even though it was supposed to be a difficult trail it wasn't that bad at all. But overall nice scenery and wide variety of trails to choose from.
Have always have had a great time there and perfect place for photo shoots. Very picturesque with water, bridges crossing creek, and small cliffs. Great picnic spots and open area to play games or hiking.