Monday, April 27, 2015

Pere Marquette State Park, IL

Pere Marquette State Park - Illinois Department of Natural Resources

GPS Coordinates 38.97301, -90.54325
Visitor Center Parking Lot

Pere Marquette Hiking Trails and Lower Park - Illinois Department of Natural Resources
(Note:  The map contains an error.  The Rattlesnake Trail is 3/4 of a mile each way, not 1/4 of a mile and the view is from Scenic Drive, not the trail, but the view is overgrown.)
Pere Marquette State Park, IL at EveryTrail

7.9 miles with the Rattlesnake Trail
6.4 miles without the Rattlesnake Trail

The yellow-blazed Goat Cliff Trail starts from the northern end of the parking lot running parallel to Route 100.
My mother, who will be 80 in another month and still hikes, hiked with us.
The trails were lined with wildflowers.
Huge yellow blazes along the trail.
More wildflowers.
The trail ascends along rock formations.
The first overlook indicated on the map is pretty much overgrown.
But continuing on, take a right at a fork to a fabulous overlook.
The Illinois Countryside
A barge in the Illinois River.
At this intersection, our hike continued to the left on the Hickory Trail but first a short side trip to the right to...
... another overlook although not as nice as the last one.
Continuing on the red-blazed Hickory Trail...
... to yet another overlook.
Keeping left on red/white bar Hickory North.
Then left on the orange star Fern Hollow Trail.
Crossing over Scenic Drive.
This is the orange/white bar Rattlesnake Trail that the map says is 1/4 mile long.  It is actually 3/4 mile long and it's an out-and-back unless you want to road walk back on Scenic Drive.
The trail is washed out, rutted and somewhat overgrown.
The first dragonfly I have seen this year.
I was looking for the overlook which is not on the trail at all but where the trail ends at Scenic Drive, you can see that the view is actually to the left on Scenic Drive.
The view is, however, overgrown.  We had left my mom behind to meet back up with her since this trail was getting too difficult and long so Shawnee and I cut across the grass and bushwhacked through thick growth to short cut back to the trail and meet back up with my mom.  Skip the Rattlesnake Trail - not at all worth the effort.
Back on the Fern Hollow Trail.
A much nicer trail than the Rattlesnake Trail.
Some countryside views not shown on the map. 
At the end of Fern Hollow, left on red/white circle Hickory South.
Some more countryside views along Hickory South.
A couple of tired seniors but they did great!
Coming back out at the parking lot.

[  0.00]  Continue north through the parking lot along Route 100 to the start of the yellow Goat Cliff Trail
[  1.50]  Left on the red Hickory Trail
[  1.80]  Left on the red/white bar Hickory North Trail
[  2.65]  Left on the orange star Fern Hollow Trail
[  3.65]  Cross Scenic Drive
[  3.75]  Add 1.5 miles if doing out and back on orange/white bar Rattlesnake out-and-back but not advised, view is on Scenic Drive and is overgrown
[  5.25]  Left on red/white circle Hickory South Trail
[  6.40]  Back at parking lot