Beall Woods is located on the banks of the Wabash River. Visitors from around the world travel to the area to see the beautiful virginia timbers. Beal Woods are perfect for relaxing, camping, picnicking and fishing and don't forget hiking With five self guided trails totaling nearly 10 miles gives you a hiking experience to remember. Tulip Tree Trail is created from chipped surface so that those in wheelchairs also can enjoy the trail that is about 1.5 mile long as well. The trail also offers cassette tape noting 10 points of interest to help those who are visually impaired. White Oak and Sweet gum trails are great for beginners. Schneck and Ridgeway trails are for more advanced hikers. Among the trails take note of the woodpeckers, trees that reach 120 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter, deer, opossum and skunks. Fall is beautiful in these woods and normally occurs the second or third week in October.
Dixon Springs State Park is located in the Illinois Shawnee Hills as well. The park is built on a giant block of rock. The park is 801 acres long in Pope County Illinois. The area around the park was where many tribes of Algonquins lived after the Shawnee had been driven from Tennessee. The park gained its name after William Dixon first white settlers to build a home in this section who built a school in 1848. Dixon Springs would have a general store, post office, blacksmith shop, grist mill and several churches. It was also a health spa where hundreds would travel to the seven springs of mineral enriched water.
The park is one of our favorites to visit. There is a swimming pool, bathhouse, and 45 foot water slide. The towering oaks, elms and birch trees shade the pool and makes it an enjoyable place to visit. There are also three shaded picnic areas that include picnic tables and outdoor stoves. Two picnic shelters, playgrounds, drinking water is available as well. Camping sites include electricity and then there are 10 more primitive sites as well. Basketball courts, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts and hiking trails are available as well.
Giant City Park offers breathtaking natural beauty. There is an unlimited amount of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Camping, fishing, horseback riding, and hiking are just a few of the recreation opportunities available here. The trails here are made of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago. The park is covered with fern, moss, flowering mints, hundreds of wild flowers and towering trees.
Located within the Giant City park is a visitor center. You can find out about the plants, animals and history of the park. Giant City Lodge is rustic in nature and features a gift shop, lounge and bar as well as a swimming pool, there are three types of cabins
Whether you choose to go hiking at one of these three parks or another the same great rules should be followed when visiting. One rule our family always has is that we leave the site looking as good as or better than before we arrived. The beauty is there for all of us to enjoy so we should leave nothing but our footprints and take only the memories we make.
Be sure to stay on the designated hiking trails going off could be dangerous for you
Your pets should be on a leash. There are others enjoying the park as well and we should all be given the same chance
It is best if you will be hiking to wear a comfortable pair of walking or hiking shoes
It is a good idea to take your own water bottle if you will be going on a long hike. The sun will play a big role on dehydration
Bring along mosquito repellent mosquitoes normally like hikes as well
Wear clothing to help protect your self from ticks. Long sleeve shirt, button up collar and put your trouser cuffs in your socks. Remember to check your pets as well. Check yourself during and after hike. If you have any flu like symptoms following hike or a red bull's eye rash could be a tick bite.