Midwest Hiking | Travel Diaries
My co-worker Veronica and I have been on a hiking kick this Spring! It's our goal to do 50 hikes within a year from when we started in April. Though, being in Iowa our choices for trails are some what limited. Since Summer started we have tried get a little creative with our trips. We found 2 locations that are pretty awesome within 3 hours of Iowa City. Starved Rock State Park, Illinois Starved Rock is known for it's sandstone canyons formed by glacial meltwaters and many waterfalls. For this trip we brought our 3 kiddos. Most of the trails were pretty kid-friendly, but some were heavy on the stairs which they didn't enjoy as much. But, this place is so neat! Our favorite spot was the waterfall at Wildcat Canyon with the water pooled at the bottom. It was shallow enough for the kids to splash around without worries. You can definitely spend a few hours exploring here.
Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin I actually came here once before in 2018 with kids in tow, but decided not to take them up the bluff. I am so glad because this was definitely our steepest, most challenging hike yet. I'm also a *wee bit* scared of heights and there were some ledges that made my knees weak. Anyways! Veronica and I went up both bluffs and around the entire lake. We went up the West bluff first then around the back of the East bluff. Our trip ended up being 6 miles, 1,200 feet elevation gain. I was shaking by the time we were done! I'd say the East bluff was a little more difficult and it features Devil's Doorway. At the park there are also two beaches, play grounds, and ground hiking for those with young kids and other limitations. If you're ever in the area and have a day to kill - this is a must stop!