Friday, March 4, 2016

03-03-2016 Matthiessen State Park, upper dells and around the lake

 Today we had 26 hikers and two dogs.  We met in the Lodge's Lobby and carpooled to Matthiessen State Park.  There are three entrances to the park and we started where the replica fort is.  Our trek today began at the fort, we went down a major flight of steps and took a right almost at the bottom.  We took the upper trail to the Matthiessen Lake Bridge.  Once we arrived here, we crossed the bridge and took the trail near the lake and followed it around.  Upon arriving back at the bridge we went down the stairs to the lower trail back to the bridge and back up the stairs. Hike today took 2 hours.  It was nice to be the first ones on the trail after a snowfall.

Fresh fallen snow early on.  Nobody was ready for a break.
Replica Fort at Matthiessen State Park

Good thing we know the way.

Snow covered trails

First ones on the snow.  That is the best!

This was probably the last day for cross country skiing

Near Cedar Point area from the upper trail

Concrete walkway leading to the bridge over Lake Falls

Bridge over Lake Falls

Looking over the bridge onto the waterfall at the Lake

Matthiessen Lake, looking North

The boat house at Matthiessen State Park

Back on the North side of the Lake are some old vehicles

Let's just go the 2 miles..... more.

Did anyone lose a shoe?

Locust Tree, Vicious looking!!!

Trudging through the snow
I knew there would be a creek somewhere along the trail.

We have Cross County Skiing and Horseback Riding Trails

There were about 4-5 trees down on the trail around the lake.  They will get these cleared up before summer arrives.

Another look at the boat house from across the lake

Lake Falls from the lower trail

I hope he's not contemplating which way to go????
Giant's Bathtub

Some of the sandstone formations on the trail

Snow covered boulder field. 

This was a little tricky.  With the slanted pilons and the snow.....  Nobody fell, we are professionals.
What a great day!!!  One of my favorite times to hike is just after a snowfall.  Those that missed today's hike, missed a good one.  

I will leave you with this: Eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.


  1. I don't know if you are aware, but one of the rarest trees in Illinois grows in Starved Rock State Park, in St. Louis Canyon. It's the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), and as far as I know, the eleven trees present in Starved Rock are the only natural population. You can see three in the background of the picture of your group of hikers crossing the creek in St. Louis Canyon on December 18, 2015's blogpost.

    1. I am going to check it out next time we go out there. That is interesting. Thanks