Giant City State Park, photo taken on 10/04/15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Giant City State Park, photo taken on 10/04/15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

 

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Written by: Matthew McGuire
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[av_one_half first]On October 4, I visited Giant City State Park for an afternoon of hiking in Southern Illinois. The park has several trails to choose from including: Post Oak, Devil’s Standtable, Giant City Nature Trail, Stonefort, Indian Creek, Trillium and the Arrowwood trail.

My first trail was on Devil’s Standtable. I found out that visitors can rock climb to the summit, or hike around the bluffs to reach the top. It was more enjoyable getting my hands dirty, and climbing some of the less intense rocks. The park does allow rock climbing and rappelling at Giant City in two locations. The areas of Devil’s Standtable cliff and Shelter #1 bluff at the Makanda entrance are accessible to climbers, and ropes are permitted on these cliffs. Climbers should bring their own equipment, and climb at their own risk.

It is wise to climb with people that have experience, and can help a new climber learn the ropes.

After checking out the first trail, I made my way around the Nature Trail to find out the “Fat Man Squeeze” is currently closed for the season. I doubt I could still fit through the narrow rock formations.

Families celebrated as I walked around the different shelters at the park. They offer grills and seating for guests to meet up together outside.

Visitors can grab a bite to eat at the lodge that was built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Currently, the park has grown to encompass 4,000 acres of countryside plus the 110-acre Fern Rocks Nature Preserve.

The park was a great way to spend the afternoon hiking around a beautiful section of Southern Illinois.

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