“steep, thickly wooded ridges”
Fox Ridge State Park, a 2,064 acre park 8 miles south of Charleston in east-central Illinois, is known for its steep, thickly wooded ridges, broad, lush valleys and miles of rugged, scenic hiking trails.In sharp contrast to the flat prairieland of most of this section of Illinois, the Coles County park is set amidst rolling hills along the forested bluffs of the Embarras ("Ambraw") River.Fox Ridge State Park is a great place to visit at any time of year. In winter, the snow-softened ridges are alive with birds and animals. In the spring, a panoramic blanket of multi-hued wildflowers and flowering trees celebrate the resurgence of growth. By summer the dense vegetation and new generation of wildlife are thriving in the sun, and autumn brings its brilliant display of color as nature enhances the woodlands with yellows, reds, purples and oranges. Arrowheads and artifacts uncovered in this area indicate habitation by prehistoric Native American cultures. Early historic tribes included the Piankashaw and the Illinois, both of whom were pushed out when the Kickapoo migrated into the region from Wisconsin in the late 1600s. European settlers in the area originally were centered around the Embarras River, which provided their main source of transportation, fishing, trapping, and, of course, water. Before the development of the railroad, much of the economy of the area also depended on the river, with flat boats carring livestock and manufacturing materials downstream to the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi rivers and on to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.
If you can't enjoy nature at Fox Ridge, you're doing it wrong. There are oodles of scenic trails, some more challenging than others. Enjoy the water, enjoy the hills, have a picnic or play a game of baseball. You can't be bored if you can make it out there.
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Fox Ridge State Park
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