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Apple River Canyon State Park, Apple River

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web
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.
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  • My wife, 14 year old son and I stayed at the park for 1 day on a Saturday and then camped over night. The campsite was well maintained and very large. There was a fire ring with a grate and a picnick ...  read more »
  • I thought the park was ok. Camping was an average camp site. You are right next to the person next to you and for us, that meant right next to a really large and loud group. The trails are good for a ...  read more »
  • I have been our a few times to run the trails and they are great - challenging enough to get a good workout but also short enough that you don't have to worry about getting lost! Great little place to...  read more »
  • Lovely state park. It would be nice if the trails were a bit better defined with more signage but that's a minor problem.
  • Kind of a hidden gem of a park. Great hikes.
  • Beautiful and quiet
  • Very unique park. Below surface of surrounding prairie. Feel like entering canyon land. Pleasant short hikes. Beautiful campground. One my favorite picnic spots. Nature at it's best.
  • This is a great park for camping. There are plenty of sites you can reserve in advance, and another thirty for walk-up registration. All the sites are in a deeply wooded area and are separated from each other by trees and and underbrush. A night of camping in a non-electric site only costs $7. There are also plenty of hiking trails to explore the beautiful topography.
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