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OAKWOOD AVE. • OGLESBY This pet-friendly park features a fishing pond and pier. You’ll also find a 1/3 mile long walking track, complete with 6 work out stations. For the kids, there’s a playground with baby swings, regular swings and a pirate-themed jungle gym.
MITCHELL’S GROVE NATURE PRESERVE
EAST 5TH ROAD • LASALLE This small park is something of a geological oddity, with its unique rock formations showing evidence of glacial gouging and boulder deposits from as far north as Canada. You’ll also find a winding creek, tall bluff outcroppings and some rare vegetation. For nonrockhounds, it’s also a popular hunting destination during deer season.
RIVER WALK AND FOX RIVER PARK
1025 ONTARIO STREET OTTAWA See the beauty of the Fox River from downtown Ottawa. You’ll find a paved walking path that runs from Fox River Park all the way to the downtown, where the Fox meets the Illinois River. At Fox River Park you’ll also find a splash pad, 9-hole disk golf course, playground,
Do your part to keep the parks looking nice! There are ample waste receptacles scattered throughout the parks, be sure to keep any waste you generate on the trail inside your bag until you find one.
STAY ON THE TRAILS Venturing off trails at any of Illinois’ State Parks is strictly forbidden, and for good reason. There are countless sharp drop offs, ravines, and dangerous plants off the trails. Admire the beautiful sights from only the clearly marked trails.
Wear well fitted shoes, preferably hiking boots with good traction. Dress appropriately for the weather, always anticipate it being cooler inside the canyons at Starved Rock and the dells at Matthiessen.
Hiking can be exhausting, and many hikers underestimate how much water they’ll drink out on the trails. Plan ahead and bring extra water and trail snacks for you and your fellow hikers.
BRING A PHONE
These parks are large, and you can go long distances without seeing another hiker while out on the trails. Be sure to bring a cell phone so you can call for help in case of an emergency.
BRING A LEASH
Pets are always welcomed at LaSalle County’s state parks, but they must be kept on a leash, for their own safety. 19
boat launch and an excellent fishing area.
SANDY FORD NATURE AREA
1399 NORTH 18TH ROAD STREATOR The 200-acre Sandy Ford Preserve, located just off of the Vermilion River, features two creeks, a floodplain forest, dry bluffland forest, hill prairies, sandstone cliffs and a selection of plants more commonly found in Wisconsin or Canada.
SHABBONA COUNTY PARK
4178 CO HWY 22 EARLVILLE This park, located in rural Earlville, features picnic areas, open fields, rentable shelters and fishing ponds and the beautiful Indian Creek. While you’re there, be sure to learn about the tragic history of this tranquil park at the historical marker located near the entrance.
SNYDER GROVE PARK
EAST 4TH RD. • MENDOTA Located in Mendota, this 104acre nature preserve features shelters, restrooms, picnic area and a playground. You’ll also find a small network of hiking trails.
SPRING LAKE NATURE AREA
1413 EAST 16TH ROAD STREATOR Located 1.8 miles northwest of Streator, this 37+ acre park contains two creeks, a sandstone waterfall, an expansive large trail system, as well as some rare flora and fauna!