Midwest Adventure: Caves and the great Mississippi-Part 1

Well, I have been MIA lately and I am sorry about that.  This period of silence can be mostly attributed to the fact that Kyle was sent away for 6 weeks to fulfill some school requirements.  Now that my exploration partner is back and the weather is getting increasingly more enjoyable, I will be making posts regularly.

This past weekend, Kyle and I embarked on a spontaneous trip to the Mississippi Palisades and Maquoketa Caves.  The weather was splendid — upper 70s and sunny the entire weekend.  We couldn’t have asked for better hiking weather.

The journey from the western suburbs of Chicago to Savanna, IL was a simple one.  The drive was approximately 2.5 hours and went through quiet, rolling farmlands.  As we approached the Mississippi, the lands became more wooded and lush.  Savanna is a small town on the edge of the great river where just over 3,000 people call it home.

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After a wonderful night in one of the only hotels in Savanna, we began our day with a 4 mile hike along the Great River Trail.  This trail begins in downtown Savanna and extends 62 miles south through the Mississippi River wetlands.  Our 4 mile portion of this hike took us through a forest of trees that “waded” in water.  We felt like we were in a fairytale.   Someday, we will return to canoe through this peaceful landscape.

riverwalksavannah

The Great River Walk

green river mississippi river walk

After our morning hike, we departed for the Mississippi Palisades State Park.  This is a large state park with multiple hiking trails that range in difficulty.  We hiked a few trails that offered breath-taking views of the Mississippi.  There is a large campground in the park that we will venture back to this summer 🙂

black and white mississippi

 The views

overheadmississippirailroadB&W

On the outskirts of Savanna, there is a rather vast wildlife preserve that encompasses part of the Mississippi River.  This area provides an abundance of animal viewing and an amazing 4 mile trail.  This is well worth the stop!

While Savanna is a small town, it offers a plethora of outdoorsy activities for adventurers. One could easily spend a weekend exploring the beauty of the State Park, Great River Trial, and wildlife preserve.  If you are looking for a place to stay, the Savanna Super 8 is very accommodating and up-to-date (it even has a hot tub, which is very nice after a long day of hiking).  There are several food options in town, however, we would highly suggest Cafe Crumble.  Delicious! 🙂

Check back later this week for Part II of our weekend adventure to Davenport, IA and Maquoketa Caves State Park!

blooming flowersSpring has arrived!

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