A Little Time and a Keyboard: Ravines, Wildflowers and Views Sparkle at Illiniwek Forest Preserve in Hampton, Illinois

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Ravines, Wildflowers and Views Sparkle at Illiniwek Forest Preserve in Hampton, Illinois

Ravines, Wildflowers and Views Sparkle at Illiniwek Forest Preserve in Hampton, Illinois
Hiking at Illiniwek Forest Preserves Treats to Views of the Mississippi River and Ravines

Disclosure: Thank you to Visit Quad Cities for hosting my trip to the Quad Cities in order to share incredible experiences with my audience. Opinions are 100% my own.

Illiniwek Forest Preserve in Hampton, Illinois, treated us to a lovely yet rugged evening hike during our Quad Cities getaway. Throughout our hike, we hiked up onto the bluffs through a forest ablaze with wildflowers. We were entirely at peace surrounded by nature while wandering Illiniwek.

A stream gently rolls through a wooded ravine at Illiniwek Forest Preserve.
A stream gently rolls through a wooded ravine.

We began our hike ambling along and over a stream. Quickly, we found ourselves marveling at a ravine. We continued to hike up onto the bluffs at Illiniwek Forest Preserve. While the trails could be steep in places, overall they were not too rocky. 

Dutchman's breeches dotted the spring forest at Illiniwek Forest Preserve in Hampton, Illinois
Dutchman's breeches dotted the spring forest.

The collection of wildflowers carpeting the forest floor dazzled! Dutchman's breeches, spring beauties, toothwort, violets and more bespeckled the forest. 

A huge tree cavity at Illiniwek Forest Preserve invited curiosity.
A huge tree cavity at Illiniwek Forest Preserve invited curiosity.

While hiking, we discovered a number of trees with huge cavities. I could have fit inside! So very cool! We found a couple of them! PS -- I stayed out of them because they may be homes to animals. 

The trail is a shared trail with bikers. Due to the winding of the trail, we easily saw mountain bikers coming up behind us so that we could move over. We found our entire walk peaceful and full of natural treasures.

Ravines created magical scenes at Illiniwek Forest Preserve.
Ravines created magical scenes.

Gazing into the ravines rewarded us with breathtaking view after breathtaking view. Deeper into the forest, we spotted more birds including woodpeckers, robins and blue jays. Nature lovers will quickly find themselves spellbound on this trail!

Taking in Magnificent Views:

The Mississippi River peeking through the trees at Illiniwek Forest Preserve. Stunning!
The Mississippi River peeking through the trees. Stunning!

Eventually, we began to spot the Mississippi River. Soon, we discovered an overlook with a spectacular view of the Mighty Mississippi. 

Taking in the view of the Mississippi River at Illiniwek Forest Preserve.
Taking in the view of the Mississippi River.

When we reached the wider opening just wow! The view of the Mississippi is magnificent at this point. This spot also is a nice one for a little picnic -- there is plenty of room.

Wildflowers carpeted the floor of the spring forest at Illiniwek Forest Preserve.
Wildflowers carpeted the floor of the spring forest.

As we wound back down the bluff, we admired the wildflowers surrounding us reflecting on our lovely evening hike. Illiniwek Forest Preserve provides for a lovely bluff hike with fantastic views of ravines and the Mississippi River.

A variety of nature activities are available at Illiniwek Forest Preserve including:

  • Hiking and biking are popular.
  • Camping is available usually April - October based on availability.
  • Boat launch into the Mississippi available.
  • Picnicking.

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