Saturday, August 26, 2017

Quiet Morning in Nature at Black Hawk State Historic Site {Rock Island, Illinois}




Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island, Illinois

We began our first morning in the Quad Cities meandering through Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island, Illinois. The historic site is nestled along the Rock River. Part of the preserve maintains trails along outcrops of the river.



View of the Rock River from Black Hawk State Historic Site
Rock River from Black Hawk State Historic Site
Before hiking, we explored the Watchtower Lodge which houses a museum about the Sauk and Meskwaki and the Civilian Conservation Corps as well as meeting spaces. The Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the lodge in the 1930's. While walking to the lodge, we noted signs detailing another interesting piece of the location's history -- it was the site of an amusement park from 1882-1927. Wow!

Sauk wigwam replica at Hauberg Indian Museum
Sauk wigwam replica at Hauberg Museum
The Hauberg Indian Museum recreates scenes in the lives of Sauk and Meskwaki Native Americans. While small, the museum provided a nice aside and we each learned something we did not know. I did not know that the Sauk moved into smaller villages in the winter to provide less strain on resources during a time when they are limited. The Hauberg Museum is a nice place for families to learn about the Native Americans once populating Illinois.

Exhibit on Civilian Conservation Corps at Black Hawk State Historic Site
Exhibit on Civilian Conservation Corps at Black Hawk State Historic Site
Another section of the lodge houses an informative exhibit on the Civilian Conservation Corps. Along with the lodge, they also built a wall that you can see after exiting the building to begin the hike. Immediately outside is an impressive statue of Chief Black Hawk.

Chief Black Hawk at Black Hawk State Historic Site
Chief Black Hawk
There are quite a few trails at Black Hawk. We first explored one along the river which has a couple of steep sections. We enjoyed the views of both the river and the outcrops.

Outcrops at Black Hawk Historic Site
Incredible outcrops along the Rock River
After, we wandered to the larger portion of the preserve across Illinois Hwy 5. There is a people bridge that connects the two portions but we did drive because we had a bit of a crunch for time.

Pedestrian bridge at Black Hawk State Historic Site
Pedestrian bridge at Black Hawk State Historic Site
Across the pedestrian bridge from the lodge, we discovered lovely wooded trails that traverse rolling topography. There is also an old coal mine along one of the trails in this section. We did not have time on this visit to look for it, but would love to on another visit.

Lovely wooded path at Black Hawk State Historic Site
Lovely wooded path at Black Hawk State Historic Site

We enjoyed our nature respite at Black Hawk State Historic Site! The variety of hiking trails provide the calm nature lovers are looking for with a bit of a challenge in a few areas along the river. The site also has plenty of space for picnics and a playground. A true gem in the Quad Cities!

**Disclosure: Thank you to Visit Quad Cities for hosting our visit. We received complimentary experiences in ordered to facilitate to bring these reviews to you. No other compensation was a received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Hiking at Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island, Illinois

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2 comments:

  1. I didn't realise Rock Island looked like this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! We didn't realize this was something Rock Island had. So interesting to know!

    ReplyDelete