You feel the sweat on your brow from exertion, but you push on. As the trees get thicker, the trail gets steeper. You feel your calves tighten. Feeling tired and sore, you stop alongside the trail and take a drink of water. Another hiker passes you, and he smiles at you as he does so. You take a moment to admire the beautiful scenery around you. Flowers and birds are in every direction. Taking a deep breath, you continue on your hike. You push yourself harder because you long to see the top of the hill, to look down and see everything.
Why Carroll County?
Here are just a few reasons golfers should choose Carroll County:
Close to You
Carroll County is within a two-and-a-half hour drive of Chicago, most of Illinois and all of Southern Wisconsin and Eastern Iowa.
You’ll have access to thousands of acres of beautiful parklands and endless miles of dedicated trails.
Fun Off the Trail
When you’re not hiking, stop for great food and shopping in welcoming towns. Options range from farm tours to golfing to laser tag to amazing theater.
Lodging options from rustic cabins to resorts mean you get more than a place to sleep; where you stay becomes part of the fun!
Great Places to Hike
Look at that! We have many fantastic locations to hike or even take a much needed rest. Carroll County offers a wide variety of places to begin your hiking adventure, such as:
Ayers Sand Prairie Nature Preserve
This preserve largely contains sand dunes and blowout communities to hike, and it is also home to many deer, skunks, and various birds. Ayers Sand Prairie Nature Preserve Website
French Bluff Illinois State Recreational Nature Area
French Bluff is characterized by steep hillsides, ridge tops, and terrace benches that are almost entirely covered by forest. Excellent for for birding and to view wildflowers. French Bluff Illinois State Recreational Nature Area Website
Great River Trail
As Carroll County’s longest trail, it expands 62 miles from Savanna to the Quad Cities, and it has beautiful scenery in every mile. Great River Trail Website
Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center
This 50,000 acre refuge offers trails to hike or bike. Picnic, explore the gift shop, and enjoy the wildlife observation.
Lost Mound Unit
A 7,000 acre nature preserve on the Mississippi offering sand prairie remnants, forests, wetlands, old military buildings, Indian burial mounds, scenic river overlooks and the largest sand dune in Illinois.
Mississippi Palisades State Park
2,400 acres on steep bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, with birding, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, scenic overlooks, and cross-country skiing.
Old Mill Park
It features multiple walking trails, restroom buildings, tennis & basketball courts, a playground, and concessions.
Point Rock Park
This city park contains parking, frisbee golf, restrooms, and much more.
An 8.7 mile trail rings this park and the lake it takes its name from. Scenic overlooks on the trail overlook the Mississippi and Spring Lake. Great spot for birding, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Directions to Spring Lake
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thomson Causeway Recreation Area
This 64 acre preserve on the Great River Trail overlooks a 3-mile wide Mississippi channel and the Potters Marsh wetlands. Great birding, camping, canoeing, fishing, and hiking; boat launches available.