Illinois: Starved Rock State Park
Suppose you drive just a few short hours south of Chicago’s skyscrapers. In that case, Starved Rock State Park’s multiple waterfalls and rough hiking terrain make for the perfect escape from the Midwest’s typical ordinary landscape.
With trails along the Illinois River, visitors can also enjoy canoeing, fishing, and even cross-country skiing in the winter.
For those who wish to visit the park but aren’t into traditional camping, the recently opened Camp Aramoni features luxury tents and half-board meal options.
And while you’re here, visit the waterfall at St. Louis Canyon, a one-and-a-half-mile hike away from the Visitors Center. If visiting in winter, you’ll see the icicles forming.
Indiana: Chain O’ Lakes State Park
The Chain O’ Lakes Park in this state is the ideal location for avid boaters. With nine lakes connecting to create a chain, there are plenty of opportunities for canoeing, fishing, and many other water activities.
Iowa: Beed’s Lake State Park
Once entering the park, a limestone dam welcomes guests. The Civilian Conservation Corps originally built the dam to store water for running a mill, but it has become a top-rated tourist destination nowadays.
A two-mile trail leads visitors to the dam’s base, where they can enjoy a refreshing water mist.