Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16, 2014, Wildcat, Eagle's Cliff, Lover

They opened some trails this morning after being closed since June 30th. There was a storm with severe winds that came though and did quite a bit of damage.  I haven't been hiking in awhile so I thought I would get out early and check it out.  I saw one other person on the trail, and lots of animal activity.  This first photo was amazing.  All 4 deer were welcoming me to the trail head.

 I chose to leave from the Lodge and head out to Wildcat Canyon on the Campanula trail.  I then went down into Wildcat Canyon.  Coming out of Wildcat, I walked along the River trail up into Beehive Overlook.  I took my favorite stairway up to Eagle's Cliff and the boardwalk to Lover's Leap.  Finished up the walk on the Bluff Trail.  Enjoy the photos!

It's finally time to take a walk in the park!
Bridge to Wildcat Canyon (notice all the new wood)
First stairway- going up
Common occurrence on the trail today
On the way to Wildcat Canyon
With all the downed trees, we now have places to rest.

A tree hanging well off the trail near Wildcat Canyon
The trail is still closed past Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon from the top
Going down the steps by Wildcat there is a big root ball and a stairway repair
Common site on the trails today
Wildcat Canyon from inside (love the vines)
Some parts of the park are still Restricted!  PLEASE STAY ON THE TRAILS!!

Trail is still closed East of Wildcat Canyon
Looking East on the River Trail.  What a lovely morning to be out hiking!
Beehive Overlook still has an obstructed view- No tree loss here
On the river trail looking to the West (Eagles Cliff)
Deer near Eagles Cliff (There was also 2 fawns nearby that didn't make it into the photo)
This is MY best viewing spot in the park - Eagle's Clif
View from Eagle's Cliff looking to the West - Lock and Dam - Leipold Island
As you can see the Illinois River is VERY low.  We still have White Pelicans
View from Lover's Leap - Leipold and Plum Island
Starved Rock from Lover's Leap
Coming back on the Bluff Trail.  If you see this type of debris- it is NOT a trail.  Leave it there.
Many or even most of the trees I seen that had fallen were Oaks or Maples. Very few pine trees.
Top of French
There are still many wildflowers out on the trail and here are a few photos.  Not sure of their names.  There is still much Poison Ivy out there as well!  Another good reason to stay on the trails.  Although there are many trees down in the park, the park still looks awesome.  I see something new and exciting everytime I go hiking.  With the new fallen trees the canopy is wide open in places, giving new growth.  It will be interesting to see what fills in the spaces.  Patience.
Poison Ivy- Leaves of 3 leave them be!
What a great day to be a bee!
Not sure on the name (I need a book)
My favorite time to hike is in the morning!  What a treat I had this morning!  
I will leave you with this: Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.


  1. Can you tell me if any of the hiking trails are accessible from the Starved Rock State Park Campground? Or will we have to drive to the lodge first? Thanks!

    1. Sorry for the delay of this reply. There is not a trail from the Campground. You can access from the Lodge area, State park visitor center's parking lot. Or you can drive to any of the parking areas east of the Lodge. If I am counting right there are 4 of them. Have a great hike. I will be leading a hike on Saturday. Take a Hike $17 includes lunch in LaSalle Canyon. If you are interested call the front desk at 815-667-4211 ext. 0.