Thursday, November 17, 2016

11-17-2016 Buffalo Rock State Park

 We always start our hikes in the lobby of the Lodge.  Today's hike was scheduled at Buffalo Rock State Park.  We all carpooled to the park and walked from there.  This is the smallest of the 3 state parks in our area at 298 acres.  There were 56 walkers and 3 dogs.  What a record.  Not sure if the weather had anything to do with it or people just wanted to get in shape for the upcoming holidays.   Pretty sure it was the projected high of 73 degrees.

Buffalo Rock, true to it's name there are 2 buffalo (bison) that call the park home.
The park does feed them well and they also have a large grazing area.

Sign by the bison's hut area

36 hikers and 3 dogs take off from the parking lot at Buffalo Rock state park
Nice sturdy trail signs in this park

Some sort of Pampas grass grows everywhere here

All of us were listening to Joe tell us the story of how this park was formed.

Buffalo Rock is said to have served the French as an early military, trading and missionary post. LaSalle and Tonty, after building Fort St. Louis on Starved Rock during the winter of 1882-1883, gathered almost 4,000 Indian warriors at the front of Buffalo Rock and formed a confederation against the Iroquois. Among the tribes in the confederation were the Miami, who built their own fort on Buffalo Rock.
In more recent history, Buffalo Rock was used by a religious sect for camp meetings, and later as a site for a tuberculosis sanatorium. The Crane Company of Chicago purchased Buffalo Rock in 1912, and for a period of about 16 years maintained a sanatorium for sick employees and a summer vacation ground for thousands of employees and their families. In 1927, the Crane Company moved their recreation park to a larger area, donating the original site to the state to become a park. The deed to the property was turned over to the State of Illinois on November 15, 1928, with the provision that it would become a permanent state park and that the caretaker Robert Barnett, who was then 72 years of age, be retained in that capacity for the remainder of his lifetime as a reward for his loyal services.

Ron took a group up the back of the catfish

There are 5 sculptures of water creatures in the park.  Turtle, snake, water strider, catfish and frog.  This is one of the two signs still standing.  One is pictured below and the other 3 have a stand, but no photo or information.

Who does this????  The missing pieces were all over the ground, we picked them up and put them in our trash for the day.

View of the park, looking West
One of the signs marking the overlooks

View of the sandstone cliff and the Illinois River from one of the 2 overlooks in the park.

I wonder what the people capacity is on the overlook ? 

Stone steps coming off of the overlook

It was such a nice day today 73, I was hoping nobody was going to break out the water balloons or water guns.

Map of Buffalo Rock State Park.
I will leave you with this: Life is too short to argue and fight. Count your blessings, value your friends and move on with your head held high and a smile for everyone.

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