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.
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.
The Great 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 🙂
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!