With trails meandering through marsh, prairie, canyons, and waterfalls, there is a surprise around every trail bend. While hiking, keep an eye out for native flora and fauna!
This trail sports two miles of hiking that run along Matthiessen Lake and Vermillion River’s tributaries. While crossing bridges, hikers will find staircases along cliff walls leading to the rushing waters of Cascade and Lake Falls, fascinating rock formations at the Devil’s Paint Box, and the tranquil canyons of Cedar Point.
Conveniently close to Matthiessen State Park cabins, this expose of the Midwest plains boasts a two mile trail that makes for a perfect beginner expedition. There is ample parking, toilets, and plenty of places to sit and savor the surroundings. With paths that run along equestrian routes, a model plane flight field, and views of the Vermillion River, even a short hike will not disappoint.
At 6.5 miles, the park’s longest trail utilizes sections of the Bluff and Red River Trails. Spring offers beautiful wildflowers, while summer shade is provided by cedar and hickory trees. Birding is also popular here, with hundreds of species including bald eagles and red-tailed hawks. This trail is best for more experienced hikers with a love for varied landscapes.
Nothing brings a family closer than spending time outdoors. From picnicking to sports, Matthiessen State Park offers plenty of activities to foster family bonding.
While the mountains might be small in Illinois, they still make for some thrilling rides on two wheels. Over nine miles of trails are dedicated to bicycle use, suitable for cyclers of different skill levels. They are shared with the equestrian areas, so yielding is necessary.
For winter-friendly families, the park offers cross-country skiing between December and March. If visitors don’t have their own gear, ski rentals are available for use. With six miles of rolling hills, skiing across the snow-covered prairies will have the whole family enjoying cold weather.
Just a short drive from Matthiessen State Park hotels, the park offers many picnicking spots. With a historically accurate log cabin fort sitting at the base of multiple trailheads and playgrounds neatly nestled among the forests, dining outdoors under the trees is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.