Hi! Not to be confused with other parks of the same name, this particular Garden of the Gods is located in the very southern part of Illinois, a designated Wilderness Area of the Shawnee National Forest.
Did you know there is a national forest in Illinois? I bet you didn’t! I didn’t, anyway. This national forest covers 280,000 acres (1,100 sq. km.), and is the largest publicly-owned area of land in Illinois. Over 3,000 acres of the forest is home to the Garden of the Gods. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
As it’s so far south from Chicago – about five hours’ drive – I’d never been even though I lived there for many, many years. Ang had visited many years ago during her time at Southern Illinois University; so, she already had the scoop.
While we were visiting lovely Paducah, Kentucky, which is much closer to the area, we hopped across the river and took a drive into this scenic landscape.
I imagine that most people would never think of Illinois as having so many up-and-down, rolling hills, and grandiose rock formations. Yet, here we are! We mostly just hiked around, climbing up and down rocks and standing in awe of this beautiful part of the world. Enjoy some photos from our very hot and sweaty day at the Garden of the Gods.
Check out these crazy patterns in some of the rocks.
And that’s a wrap! Exhausted, we headed back to Paducah for some refreshments. I highly recommend a stop by this amazing wilderness area, as it’s such a nice spot to walk around and almost a surprise if you’re passing through the area.
Be sure to check out our other Fabric of America posts.
A very special and very big thanks to everyone in Paducah and Garden of the Gods, especially all the fine folks we met at all the places we visited. Thanks to all of you for being so wonderful.
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Have you ever been to the Garden of the Gods? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!