Rock Cut State Park – Illinois

In mid-September, I took a trip to Rock Cut State Park. Rock Cut State Park is located near the Illinois/Wisconsin border and was about a 4.5 hour drive from St. Louis, Missouri. I actually took this trip solo, but met up with a group of all female campers and had an amazing time.

I tent camped this time and stayed in the Staghorn loop. I was really impressed by how large the campground was at this park. The Staghorn loop was very shaded and had a lot of privacy between sites. Saturday night, we survived a pretty good storm in the tent. Ellie was scared and hid under the cot, but I enjoyed watching the lightening through my tent roof.

Ellie hiding under the cot =/

I also visited the Camp Store where I picked up a sticker for my adventure book!

The next day, myself and one of the other campers in the group and her two dogs, decided to check out the trails. I had previously been to this park a long time ago for a trash clean up, but a lot of the park was under construction. I knew there was a “rock” that I wanted to find that I had seen in pictures which I am guessing the park is named after. There will be a parking lot between the spillway and the Water Rental Store. If you park here, the rock is literally just a short walk in front of you. The trail is closed beyond the rock, but we followed a well worn trail to the creek. We tried to keep going, but we lost the trail and headed back to the parking lot. I marked place of the rock on the map below. It is the bottom left blue dot.

From here, we decided to hike the trail around Pierce Lake. This trail is about 4.5 to 5 miles long. Basically, you just hug the shore through various picnic areas and through the group campground.

There is also a prairie trail closer to the campground, but the signs said it was closed….I also heard that Olson Lake is closed due to very low water levels.

Overall, I really enjoyed visiting this park again and meeting some new people. It is really a great park since it is so close to the city, yet it feels like you are farther away.

A map of the park is also sometimes difficult to find so below is a map with the trail that we hiked. Be sure to check this park out!

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