A view from the bottom of one of Starved Rock’s sandstone canyons
Starved Rock State Park is consistently ranked the most beautiful place in Illinois. I finally was able to get out there with a few friends on a gorgeous fall day to explore the canyons. Unfortunately there wasn’t much water flowing as far as waterfalls go, but the changing leaves more than compensated.
There are 14 main canyons that are accessible with a boardwalk. There are some stairs to climb, but the walking is relatively easy. The further away you get from the visitor center, the more peaceful it is! It’s easy to spend a full day wandering around and it’s nearly impossible to get lost.
The Macauley Hut
The Macauley Valley is an area north of Tekapo that is only accessible by 4wd, horse, bike, or foot. You follow a winding river for about 18 kilometers to reach a well maintained Department of Conservation hut. It’s well worth the trip to get there as the isolation has been unmatched by anywhere else I’ve been in New Zealand and the views of the Southern Alps are incredible. There is some good walking to be done up the hills or further down the river and there are a few swimming holes as well.
An old piece of farming equipment sits in front of Lake Mohegan
Lake Mohegan in Fairfield, CT is a popular swimming hole in the summer time and a nice hiking spot throughout the year. The trails are well developed and there are sturdy bridges for river crossings. In April there was a lot of colorful skunk weed and some buds beginning to open. I went with my friend Paul and we had a fun time taking photos and taking in the smells of early spring. As usual, my camera was drawn to uprooted tree trunks, intricate roots, and decaying logs.