After visiting Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa, we headed east towards Mississippi Palisades State Park in Illinois. This park is about 4.5 hours from St. Louis. This park has always been on my list of the places to visit since it has stunning overlooks of the Mississippi River.
We first hiked the Sentinel Trail which is a one mile trail along a ridge line that leads to an overlook featuring a rock formation. The view is partially obscured by trees. The next part of the loop was extremely overgrown in places. Since the trails seemed to be a bit unmaintained, we decided to skip the other trails and check out some of the overlooks.
Luckily, when we arrived at the overlook, we had the place to ourselves. One of the pictures I had seen floating around the internet was the main overlook with a train rolling by on the tracks below. As we were pulling into the park around noon, the train was passing through and I was disappointed since we were just minutes away from capturing the picture I wanted. We arrived at the overlook about 12:45 and I said to my brother “lets hang out here for a bit to see if the train runs on the hour”. Sure enough, about one o’clock, we could hear a train whistle blow far off in the distance. I was so excited! I finally got the picture I wanted!
After this, we checked out a couple more overlooks. Each one was just a bit different than the last. At one of them, someone had written inspirational messages on the steps. While I do not approve of graffiti, I really liked the message below.
However, the message on the next step said “eat pancakes” so I am not sure how inspirational that is…LOL!
Overall, this is a great park to stop at if you are in the area. I don’t think I would go here solely to hike, but this park provides some of the most spectacular views of the Mississippi River! Be sure to check it out!