Hike 12 - Illinois Park Project
Date: Friday, April 19, 2019
Location: Fox Ridge State Park - Charleston, IL
Distance: 8.5+ miles
Trails: Most trails and roadways throughout main areas
Miles from Home: 774
Weather: Cold, windy, cloudy, moist
Equipment: iPhone, Apple Watch, Olympus TG-5, gloves, trash bags, etc.
This hike was a dream. The weather was shit, the drive was long, but the people and cleanup were the shining stars. We cleaned up over 20 pounds of trash, with 18.5 of it on the first half of the day. We had a group just shy of 10 and it was so fun to stomp around together in pursuit of a better place. This event was put on by my good friend Jen at Illinois Park Project. Go check them out! It was in held in partnership with the 11th Essential, a group dedicated to publicizing and normalzing stewardship in every day life. I wrote all about them HERE, so go check it out to learn more about the good stuff going down with all of them.
The second half, call it hike 12b, was about half the group and was more throughout the inner trails of the park. It was nice to connect even further, after the main event!
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019
Location: Ferne Clyffe State Park - Goreville, IL
Distance: 2.2 miles
Trails: Rebman, Hawk’s Cave, Big Rocky Hollow
Miles from Home: 668
Weather: Cool, sunny, windy, warm
Equipment: iPhone, Apple Watch
I was 34 years old when I learned that Illinois has beautiful, natural places. I was on my way back to Texas from the group cleanup and wanted to stretch my feet and get another hike before the weekend was over. I saw this place on the map, felt intrigued, and decided to stop. I’m so glad I did. WHAT A GEM. The waterfalls were gorgeous, the rocky bluffs were intense, and the general terrain was just so lovely. I had read about this place before, and forgot about it, so it was all dumb luck.