We recently stayed near Amboy, Illinois, for a couple of weeks in our slow trek towards Mount Rushmore. We were in the middle of several small farming communities, all with their own charm and family-owned businesses. It wasn’t a tourist area, and we were delighted to find there were a couple state parks nearby to discover. One was Castle Rock State Park, which is a nature and scientific preserve on the Rock River. It was a perfect place to spend the afternoon.
There is a well-maintained boardwalk which leads to the top of Castle Rock. Mike and I traversed the hundreds of steps through the tall trees, chirping birds, and the calming sound of flowing water.
At the top, it looked like a labyrinth of boardwalk paths to the top. There were two choices, the lower deck and the upper. We took both ways and enjoyed lovely views of the Rock River from far above the trees.
It was slightly odd to see the tall cliffs of Castle Rock in the middle of flat farmland. It was unique and relaxing.
The river was swollen from flood waters, which were starting to recede while we were there. High water took up a lot of land on its banks and many of the trees were under water.
This picnic area was the home of a goose family. The ground was soggy and muddy and had been under many feet of water only a couple of days earlier.
The trees and grass loved the moisture and the bright greens of spring and impending summer were beautiful and lush. Once the park recovers from flood damage and debris, it will be a beautiful place to visit and enjoy the flowing river and simple sounds of nature.
We’ve can always find a unique place to visit and learn something new in its history wherever we go. We love the tiny towns and talkative citizens we encounter, and Illinois offered many friendly locals we enjoyed meeting.
Have you found a hidden treasure in the middle of nowhere?
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