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Giant City State Park, Makanda

4.7
#6 of 37 in Nature in Illinois
Giant City State Park is located in Makanda. Put Giant City State Park into our Makanda trip planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Giant City State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
240 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Great place to visit. So much to do even in the surrounding area. Camping, hiking, waterfalls, wildlife, climbing on the rocks, exploring. Just a great time all around for both young and old  more »
  • This is a beautiful park with a black top road winding through the trees. It is a beautiful drive. There are at least 6 nature trails that you can hike and each is quite different. They vary in distan...  more »
  • We took a 3-day weekend for Columbus Day weekend and drive down to southern Illinois. We wanted to do some hiking. Giant City was 1 of 4 on my list. I went with my 10-year old. We started at the Visit...  more »
Google
  • I absolutely love this place. The trails are beautiful and the campground is tucked away and you don't hear any road traffic or anything.. Great state park, best in Illinois in my opinion
  • Very interesting place. As someone who lives right next to Starved Rock State Park, this was an interesting place to be. I really wish I was able to have gone to the other places on this side of Illinios
  • Great option for nature lovers in Southern Illinois. A big park with many trails and a great restaurant and cabins hotel.
  • The Giant City Lodge has been run for years by the Kelly family. They offer cabins rentals and a first class restaurant. The all you can eat chicken dinner is the best you'll find anywhere.
  • We love Giant City State Park!! The history here is so touchable. Even before the CCC build the Lodge, road bridges and buildings in the 30s and 40s; people were out and about in this beautiful area. We found rock carvings from around 1830 and I'm sure there were several from before white settlers arrived that we just weren't able to find. People have been hiding out in the nooks and crannies here for the longest time. Hiking amoung the standing rocks is a little trip backwards to touch our ancestors. The names craved on the rock facings made us talk for the next several days about what their lives might have been like and how different life is today. Even without the craved names, the standing stones are awe inspiring. I was so tempted upon over hearing another woman hiker tell her companions she regretted not having a tool to "add her name to the rock" that I had to restrain myself from stating; 1. illegal!, 2. Why! Why! Why! and, 3. varied curses on her house (somehow Shakespearean English and Klingon were close to erupting together from my lips. I know, I know, nerd, nerd, nerd.) The lodge itself seemed to us like an American castle. All big dressed stone; arched stair-wells, black wrought ironwork, wavy glass windows and massive wooden pillars. The place had a settled contentment about it that was comforting and exciting all at the same time. Our meal there was very good with generous portions and moderately priced. The staff all kind and generous with their time and information. The small museum was very interesting with sections on the CCC and natural history. The CCC was an country-wide orginazion that our great country could use today. Our government gave America's men their pride back and helped end the great depression with programs like the CCC. Every place we travel there are still buildings, bridges and roadworks attributed to these men. The campground was tidy and well maintained. We were here during the off season (love the empty park but dislike that the water in the cg wasn't turned on yet) and had the area almost to ourselves. The wooded areas were wonderful, I love sitting out at night listening to the owls. I probably could go on and on but seriously folks, do yourselves a big favor and spend time here. The trip is well worth it.

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