|Be sure to take time to soak in the natural beauty of the area.|
The exquisite sandstone formations located at Garden of the Gods Recreation Area, located in Illinois, took nearly 320 million years to form and, in my opinion, every single second has been very, very well spent. The area boasts truly awe inspiring vistas that beg to be fully taken in, small well worn trails that beckon you to lay tread to, and unique formations that are instantly recognizable, such as; Camel, Mushroom, and Anvil Rock formations. This true Illinois treasure is one of the most awe inspiring locations I have laid eyes upon, and was reminiscent of views I experienced in South Dakota and Colorado, only far, far closer to home!
|You can't miss the Devil's Smokestack!|
|Interesting outcrops are EVERYWHERE!|
|Scenic overlook after scenic overlook is what you can expect.|
|Ever wonder what a tree eats?|
Garden of the Gods Recreation Area and the Observation Trail make an absolutely fantastic family friendly day trip. I can assure you that after a day of bouncing among the boulders, shimmying along the outcrops, and traveling the quarter mile trail, your curtain climbers will be tuckered! Just be sure to pack a light snack or lunch and follow some of these tips for a great day hike. You may want to include a couple of band-aids though, just in case of a scraped knee. Just be sure to take time to revel in the splendor of the area and have fun!
Visit Local Treks on facebook!
Tips: How To Take A Great Dayhike
Shawnee National Forest - Garden of the Gods
Pharaoh Campground Information (Nearly halfway down the page)
My Flickr Garden of the Gods Photos
Garden of the Gods Trail Map (via ShawneeNationalForest.com)
Illinois Wildflowers (online guide with pictures)
National Geographic "Backyard Bird Identifier"
View Larger Map