Chrissy and I, with a day off together, determined to get outside yesterday. In spite of the clouds, cold (about 30), and hour and a half drive, we checked out Castle Rock State Park near the town of Oregon, Illinois. The park itself is only about 2,000 acres–smaller than some forest preserves within a few minutes of us. The topography, though, stands much starker than anything within Chicagoland, with some sections hitting over 800 feet above sea level.
The trails in the northern half of the park total about 4.75 miles–I’d guess we walked at least 4-5 miles. The trails are not well marked whatsoever, but present a pleasant ramble through a rolling creek’s valley. I personally wonder if the white pines were mostly planted–would be an uncommon thing in Northern Illinois!
We definitively plan on coming back to paddle the Rock River the park overlooks during the summer–they have a paddle up campsite!