The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do - in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the parks southern routes, puts you in touch with the past. Walk them and youll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.

Absolutely beautiful

I hiked Sentinal loop with my dog. It was 1.5 miles with lots of ups and downs. There have been a lot of storms this summer so many trees were down across the path. It was a bit of a workout.

We backpacked the Aspen trail in the north section of the park and stayed at primitive site A. This trip included me, my best friend and two of our daughters. We arrived on a Saturday morning and all 3 primitive sites were available. I suspect that the sites are pretty much always open. This was a shakedown backpacking trip for us so we wanted a short trail. The Aspen trail at 1.1 miles fit the bill. The trail is wide but mostly uphill. You come to an intersection with a pit toilet and signs to the primitive sites. Each site has a fire ring with a grill and a picnic table. Plenty of flat area to pitch two tents. After we set up our site, we hiked the Bittersweet trail back to the main campground to retrieve bug spray from our car. The bugs were pretty bad. We drove down to the south part of the park and hiked half of the Sunset trail. The part we went on was not on the bluffs but had very challenging ups and downs.
It was very hot out and buggy but we had a great time. Good place to test out your backpack equipment.

Beautiful sunset and not much hiking to find

Saturday, August 27, 2016

fun yet difficult in parts great for scouts

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2016

There are several areas on the south section where the trails have not received maintenance. Stairs have washed out, and trees are down across the trails. This may be due to the State of Illinois budget difficulties, but who knows? At any rate, if you are hiking with very young children this might make the trail more challenging. We rather enjoyed the extra effort required.

hiking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Good hike! Not to hard but the north trail was a little boring.

hiking
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Quick hike with a few good views of the river. Great for young kids.

Easy and fun hike. Cool overlook points. not the most exciting hike.

hiking
Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Easy trail, gets overgrown later into the year

hiking
Sunday, May 03, 2015

I went with my dog and completed all of the trails at the South Entrance. Man, be ready for a HIKE. There's lots of hilly terrain. Overall, it was pretty fun. My legs were about ready to give out after almost 7 miles of hiking.

hiking
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Took the whole family this past weekend. Little legs worked hard up some of the hills. Aspen trail was a favorite on the Northside of the park. High Point trail did not offer that great of an 'outlook' spot to view the river. On the Southside we drove to the outlook points which were incredible. The trails were too difficult for the preschooler in our group.

walking
Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quite hilly trails. The north trail was pretty boring actually. Old park road covered in gravel then turns into a grassy trail in the woods. Dead ends at a small lookout which was quite unimpressive. Not worth it.

hiking
Friday, August 01, 2014

Pretty park--there is no way I hiked 15 miles there however. We spent the day there and hiked many trails....but nowhere near fifteen miles. This best hikes were closest to river where we could look out on the rocks and railroad tracks.

hiking
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Amazing views in the south end. If you are walking from a camping site to the south end be prepared for quite a hall. If you want to save your energy for the rather tough ( but amazing)trails there are I would suggest driving from the campsite to the trails.

camping
Friday, April 19, 2013

The Palisades is a great place to camp and hike for a weekend. The views from the bluffs are some of the best in IL. Catch a memorable sunset from one of the outlooks.
The campground is huge, try to find a nice tucked away spot away from other campers. The restrooms/showers are the nicest I've ever been in for a campground. I tent camp and the first morning we had around 20 turkeys in and around our campsite, awesome site to see! A small general store is located right outside the campground has all the basics you need to get by.
There are numerous trails within the park, easy-moderate hikes with an occasional steep climb. Split up between the North System, and the South System. The North are longer and less traveled, while the South are short and sometimes busy because of the amazing views. The trails around the bluffs are amazing, especially the less visited ones, almost some "secret areas" with low foot-traffic. Try to catch rock-climbers on Sentinel Rock its cool to see! The lower trail of Sentinel is worth the decent, or accessible from the South entrance, and take in the view looking up the rock and talk with climbers.
The park location is convenient, its not far from civilization if you have to go back to town for something.
4-Star State Rating

hiking
Thursday, March 28, 2013

This is a nice park. I only wish that the trails were longer. The shortness of the trails made what could have been a really challenging hike only mildly so.

hiking
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FEWWKcschool

hiking
Saturday, September 01, 2012

Great hiking! It was nice to hike some challenging trails. Beautiful scenery. I definitely plan on going back!

hiking
Monday, July 30, 2012

Nice hike.

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