Information on:

Savanna - Mississippi Palisades State Park

16327 Il Route 84
815-273-2731

The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do -- in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the park’s southern routes, put you in touch with the past. Walk them and you’ll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago.

Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.

Natural Features

Palisades is the word used to describe a line of lofty, steep cliffs usually seen along a river, and Mississippi Palisades, 3 miles north of Savanna in Carroll County, handsomely lives up to its name. Caves are evident as are dangerous sink holes--limestone caves that go straight down. Erosion has carved intriguing rock formations, including Indian Head, with its aquiline characteristics, and Twin Sisters, a pair of humanoid figures on the bluff tops. The U.S. Interior Department recognized the remarkable nature of this area in 1973 when it designated acreage here as a national landmark.

Wooded ravines, whose brilliant hues splash the cliffs with color each autumn, dissect the unglaciated terrain. Ferns dot the deep ravines, while in the park’s northern region, white birch leaves of ripple in the wind. Each spring and summer the valleys and slopes are dappled with the blooms of trillium, bluebell, lobelia, shooting star and yellow ladies’ slipper.

Animal life, within the park and the river areas immediately adjoining it, is varied. Waterfowl and shorebirds are numerous, as are wild turkeys. Striking pileated woodpeckers make their home in the park, and depending on ice conditions, eagles feed at the river in January and February. Because so many birds migrate along the river, their lyrical songs can be heard at the Mississippi Palisades each spring.

But not all that’s fascinating about Mississippi Palisades’ wildlife is in the skies. White-tailed deer, gray squirrel, skunk, muskrat and weasel can be viewed in the park, as can mink, gray and red fox, woodchuck and, occasionally, badger.



Reviews

Elise Raz

Rating:
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018
Great weekend camping trip! Just enough to do leisurely over two nights. Beautiful campsites and the bathrooms are kept up well. Overlooks on the Mississippi River are great picnic spots! Hiking is great for intermediate level hikers. The trail on the furthest overlook was not updated on the map we received though so be careful if you try it! Hosts were incredibly friendly and helpful!

TLOWKK KINGS

Rating:
Monday, Feb. 12, 2018
LOVE THIS STATE PARK!!! USE TO ROCK CLIMB THERE OVER 20 YEARS AGO, BUT ROCK CLIMBING IS NOW PROHIBITED.... GOOD MEMORIES FOR LIFE PLUS IT'S COOL OVERLOOK ONTO MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND ITS SWEET WATCHING TRAINS BEND ROUND RIVER FROM WAY UP TOP!!!😍

Dan Kuhfal

Rating:
Monday, Feb. 12, 2018
Great state park to get a eagles view of the Bald eagles over the river. And the view of the Mississippi river is great. Don't expect allot in middle of winter. We don't but it's clean and well maintained

Jeremi Shearon

Rating:
Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018
The day we went, (Jan 27, 2018) the weather was excellent. However, some trails were closed. We figured it was due to the freeze/thaw cycle, and that they weren't safe. However, the trail we took (High to Goldenrod to Aspen to Bittersweet) was near perfect. A bit muddy, but safe. There was a little bit at the end that was required careful placement of feet, but otherwise good.

Frank Carte

Rating:
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
It's a beautiful place to be great look out spots there's places where you could camp if you wanted there's many trails there's wild game all through them woods all in all just a peaceful quiet place to either come by yourself or bring the family or buddies.

Mississippi Palisades State Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media