Apple River Canyon State Park, Apple River

4.2
#26 of 37 in Nature in Illinois
Apple River Canyon State Park is an Illinois state park on in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, USA. The park was begun with land purchased by the state in 1932, as a result of a prolonged campaign led by botanist Herman Silas Pepoon; with additional acquisitions since, of land have been preserved to protect much of an 8+1/2mi long canyon on the Apple River.The river canyon is part of the Driftless Area of Illinois, a region that was bypassed by the last ice age; "the glacial sweep which ironed out hills and filled valleys in other parts of the state left this area unscratched". During the dramatic events that surrounded the end of the last Ice Age, the Apple River, which once flowed eastward into the Pecatonica River, reversed its original course and began to flow southwest through an erosion gorge to the Mississippi. The result is a deep canyon, part of which is preserved in the Park.The Apple River Canyon State Park, and the Land and Water Reserve within the park, offers hiking, fishing, and hunting on parcels of gorge land. There are several hiking trails through the woods with nice views of the river and bluffs, and a tent campground. Smallmouth bass live in the river.
Arrange your visit to Apple River Canyon State Park and discover more family-friendly attractions in Apple River using our Apple River attractions planner .
Source
Create an itinerary including Apple River Canyon State Park
map
Apple River Canyon State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
41 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We have been visiting this park for years, taking our small children on adventures that are hidden from the typical trails. Our children are now teenagers who now show their friends the local secrets!...  more »
  • While not a huge park, it is beautiful!! Not a lot of foot traffic here which is kinda nice!! HOWEVER....they do not have the trails marked well ( there are an abundance of rabbit trails) and I could ...  more »
  • We never really found the best parking lot where we could figure out all the trail options in the canyon. We attempted the 'sunset' trail, which was fairly moderate in difficulty - narrow, dirt path, ...  more »
Google
  • 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
  • Well maintained smaller park in the rolling hills of northern Illinois. High canyon walls are the highlight.

Plan your trip to Apple River

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Apple River

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Illinois by other users

24 days in United States & Canada BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Woolwich, Alexandria & Chicago BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Park Ridge BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM MOROCCO July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Chicago & Naples BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 39 days in United States & Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Chicago BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 33 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Chicago BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Chicago BY A USER FROM SPAIN July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans