Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock State Park is just three miles south of Oregon on Illinois Route 2. The highway traverses right through the park. On the left side of the highway is the boat and fishing access to the Rock River and on the right side is the entrance to the main part of the park. About half a mile down the road is the actual area called Castle Rock. Here you turn left into the parking lot and then you can climb to the top of the rock for a wonderful view of the Rock River. There are wooden stairs which take you to the top - I understand there are about 120 steps. My son Danny used to take our dog Rookie up there, and he would always laugh for Rook took advantage of the landings to rest a moment. He once took some friends up there with their two little boys. As the adults were finishing their descent, the little boys met them on their way back up - let's do it again!!! The little boys were promised they would - but not till they come to visit again!
Going back to the main part of the park, we now turn left as we are once again heading north. This part of the park has several trails set up at the edge of the woods that surround the park. Except for the areas for picnicing and playgrounds, and the roads, this park is full of prairie grasses and wild flowers. The land was allowed to just grow whatever it wanted and it reverted back into the prairie grass that was there before the land was settled. There has been some trees planted, such as the one picnic area is called the Old Orchard and there are some apple trees growing around it. As Bob and I were driving through, we rounded a curve while driving up a hill and at the edge of the road ahead of us was a young doe. The noise of the van startled her and she ran off into the brush. I sure wish my camera had been on and at hand. As we drove through I wondered just where in all this land did my friend's house used to be. She and her family had a house somewhere on that land and when the state was developing it into a park, they were bought out. There were several homes out there that were purchased and destroyed to make this beautiful park. This park does not have any camping facilities of any kind - it is just for hiking, picnicing and the playgrounds, and then the river access across the highway.
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Castle Rock State Park
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Castle Rock Picnic & Trail Area Pictures
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