One of the best things about Facebook is finding new places to hike! In one of the hiking groups, someone posted about White Rock Nature Preserve near Valmeyer, Illinois. I had never heard about this place so I had to add it to my Google Maps to check out!
Driving to this nature preserve is a pretty nice drive. From Columbia, Illinois, you head south on Bluff Road and of course, you follow a bluff wall for most of the way. You even pass by Salt Lick Point which is a trail you have to check out!
There is a small parking lot on the east side of the road that is pretty easy to find since it is signed very well.
From the parking lot, you head north to the gravel road and cross over a peaceful creek. Once the road splits, there is a gate to the nature preserve on the right.
The trail heads up the bluffs and then to Madeline’s Rest. Several benches and even an old entrance to a mine are here. White Mine operated from about the 1920’s through the 1940’s and the limestone from this mine was used to manufacturer mirror and window glass.
The next part of the trail is another incline until you reach the top of the bluffs. From here, the trail heads south for about a mile until the trail ends at an overlook. Once you get to the top, the trail is pretty flat.
Since this is an out and back trail, we retraced out steps, but then hiked the short North Ridgetop Trail. This part of the trail has the best overlooks of the farmland below.
I really enjoyed this trail as it was very quiet and peaceful. We only saw one other group. It looked like the area had recently undergone a prescribed burn, but the trees were turning green and flowers were beginning to pop up!
This nature preserve is open from dawn till dusk and is pet friendly! Ellie was very happy to be out as you can tell since she is in almost every picture!
Have you ever been to White Rock Nature Preserve? What do you think? Will this place be on your “To Hike List”?