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Apple River Canyon State Park '' © Kevin Coppolino
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USA Parks
Illinois
Northern Region
Apple River Canyon State Park
APPLE RIVER CANYON STATE PARK
APPLE RIVER CANYON STATE PARK
8763 E. Canyon Road
Apple River, Illinois   61001

Phone: 815-745-3302
Reservations: 815-745-3302
Email:
Apple River Canyon State Park
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
'Scenic overlook '
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Scenic overlook at the campground

Apple River Canyon State Park
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
'Cave'
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Came across this structure while wading the river. Seems like it might have been made during the civil war era or earlier. Or just a naturally made cave.

Apple River Canyon State Park
'Gone fishin'
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
'Its a jungle out there'
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

This picture reminds me of the amazon jungle not illinois

Apple River Canyon State Park
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
'Its a jungle out there'
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park
'On the river'
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Great fishing and scenery. You cant go wrong with apple river fishing

Apple River Canyon State Park
'Erosion at its best'
© Photos By Kevin Coppolino

Apple River Canyon State Park is in the hilly northwest art of Illinois in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border. This scenic canyon area was formed by the action of the winding waters of Apple River. Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife characterize this area which was once a part of a vast sea bottom that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies.

The 297-acre park was purchased by the State of Illinois in 1932. Apple River is also in charge of other sites in JoDaviess County, Apple River Canyon State Park - Thompson and Salem Units, Witkowsky Wildlife Area, Tapley Woods, Hanover Bluff Natural Area, Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve, Wards Grove Nature Preserve, McKeague Unit Nature Preserve and Falling Down Prairie.
Nature of the Area
Flowing endlessly for countless centuries, the Apple River has cut through the masses of limestone, dolomite and shale until massive cliffs now rise high above the water and canyons have formed. Vast ages of water and erosion widened and deepened the crevices as rivers and streams cut their way through the stone. Close-up views of the colorful canyon reveal walls dotted with mosses, lichens and tenacious bushes which have found crevices to hold their roots on the sheer walls.

The glacial sweep which ironed out hills and filled valleys in other parts of the state left this area unscratched. This circumstance accounts for the large number of fossil remains to be found near the surface here. It also was responsible for the easy availability of the lead veins that has much to do with the early development of this section of Illinois.

The park contains such wildlife as deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, eagles, hawks and 47 varieties of birds. At least 14 different ferns and over 500 different herbaceous plants and 165 varieties of flowers can be seen throughout the park.
History of the Area
Joutel, who was in the Mississippi Valley in 1687 and who was later to record LaSalle's expedition, wrote tales of Indian lead mines told by travelers to the "Upper Mississippi." The first white man to see the lead mines was Nicholas Perrot, a French trader who settled on the east side of the Mississippi in 1690. The first to exploit them was a Scotch adventurer, John Law. His Company of the West, founded in Paris in 1717 on the fraudulent claim that the Illinois lead mines were well-developed, collapsed with a thud, which was heard all over France and went down in history as the "Mississippi Bubble." In the nineteenth century American settlers arrived, the Sauk and Fox Indians were driven out in the Black Hawk War and Galena, thriving on the profits of lead mining, became a roaring boom town. Miners by the hundreds entered this country through a canyon which is now one of the principal attractions of the Apple River Canyon State Park.

The town of Millville was established where the park is now, but not a trace of it remains. Named after its two sawmills, Millville became a stop on the Galena-Chicago stage route and flourished until 1854 when the Illinois Central Railroad, building its line from Freeport to Galena, passed four miles north of the town. In 1892 a devastating flood washed out the dam, swept away many buildings and drove out the people of the town forever.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
CampingPrimativeyes
 Electric Sitesyes
 Full Hookup Sitesyes
WinterActivitiesyes
Camping
The park offers 47 Class "C" sites without showers and also two handicap accessible sites. Reservations are not accepted, sites are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Camping permits must be obtained at the park office. Walnut Grove offers youth group camping and requires a reservation. The reservation form is available on this website or may be obtained by contacting the park office. Winter camping is available from 11/1 - 4/15 in our Walnut Grove Youth area only.
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Picnicking
Four picnic areas with tables, grills, accessible drinking water and toilets may be found along the river's banks. There are also three shelters, two are handicap accessible. The reservation form is available on this website or may be obtained by contacting the park office.
Trails
Five trails - Pine Ridge, Tower Rock, River Route, Sunset and Primrose Trail (handicap accessible) - wind through the woods for several miles within the park.
Area Attractions
Discover JoDaviess County with Wineries, Antique Shops, Riverboat Cruises, 10 Golf Courses, Historic Sites and Museums, Spa Services and excellent Dining all within 30 minutes of Apple River Canyon State Park. For more information, contact the JoDaviess County Visitors Bureau at 877-464-2536 or at www.galena.org.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 8 majestic
I visit the park several times a season..it has diferent veiws every visit thrue out the season..very majestict...every one u meet at the park and surounding areas r very nice...only 2.5 hrs from chicago..you will be blown away when u see it...butiful cant say enough..mark a.
June 21 A Nice, Peaceful Campground
My girlfriend and I camped here last Halloween weekend. The park is very peaceful and quiet. Everything was very clean. Campsites are nice and shaded. Trees are everywhere. The hiking trails have good views and are of easy or medium difficulty. The river is very pretty as well. Photos of all the campsites can be found at http://applerivercanyon.webs.com/campgroundmap.html to help you make a decision about camping here. There are no showers here, but otherwise it is an excellent place to camp and get away.
August 28 Best place to relax by Raven
My husband and I have been coming here for the past 4 years and love it! Its quiet, the sites are private, large and wooded, the staff is friendly, and the even when the park is full on weekends, most everyone there is respectful of others. However in the past month (since it was aired on the WGN) I have found that there are quiet a few adventure seekers who are also less than courteous to others and the park its self. There have been people there with large rafts and ATVs. The park has no such places to use these things and the campers who have been bringing them have been disrespecting the park and its guests. Some sites have become mud pits, bathrooms have been trashed, dogs are left unleashed and not monitored (I was followed to the bathroom by one) and garbage has been left in many places (sites, trails, fishing spots. etc.) Hopefully after this year, those that saw it on the news will have realized that this park is not the adventure camp they were looking for and leave the place for those that love and respect it. This place is for you if you are looking for: -Rustic and quiet camping and the feeling like you are all alone in the woods. -Trails that can be traveled in about an hour and at times can be difficult for the novice but enjoyable -A place to take amazing photos that you would not expect to find in Illinois -A quiet fishing place for both bobber and bottom fishing and fly fishing. ----------- Not for you if you are looking for: -Amenities... Pit toilets only, no sinks or showers (wells only) -Rafting adventures -ATV or offroading trails
August 5 A Great Experience by jleaphart
We camped here with our two young children and dog for 3 days, The park is beautiful and quiet. The sites are secluded with tons of privacy. We enjoyed playing in the river and looking for fossils! I would highly recommend this park.
July 15 A great place to relax and get away by Sam W
This park my family has been going to since my kids were small and my husbands been going there since he was a child. We love to go there because of how quiet and the sites are very secluded and most are good size
July 15 Our favorite camp site camp by Maryann and Gregg Williams
My husband and I have been going up to the campground for about 18 years now with our two youngest children. This year my daughter Megan and her husband Jason are starting their own tradition by taking their young son Tyler up also we love the area and the local people are wonderful. We hope to continue our yearly tradition for years to come.
July 1 peaceful park
a friend of the family invited us to come along for the 4th of july weekend first i did not know what to expect but the i found out that the park is small but very attractive peaceful the river is very clean and the park staff gave us a good service i will hihgly recomend this park to any one who want to get away from the city
June 12 Pretty and Quite
This is a pretty park. Plan on waking to many types of bird songs new to you. Never crowded, we often feel we have the park is to ourselves.


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Hickory Hideaway - Shannon, ILCottages and Cabins
More than just lodging, it's home to 12 cabins located on 10 wooded acres just minutes from Lake Carroll approximately 30 minutes from beautiful state parks such as Mississippi Palisades, Lake Le-Aqua- Na, White Pines Forest, Rock Cut, Morrison-Rockwood. A romantic whirlpool cabin with fireplace or country kitchenette can accommodate everything from intimate parties to family reunions. Enjoy our friendly atmosphere beside the bonfire or in our 8-person hot tub.
Web Site: hickoryhideaway.com/
22.8 miles from park*
Blue Bed Breakfast - Savanna, ILBBs / Inns
Located downtown Main Street in historic Savanna, Illinois, has three lovely and comfortable guest rooms decorated in a vintage decor, where sleep comes easy on plush beds. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the Mississippi River from tiered decking.
Web Site: bluebedandbreakfast.com
24.9 miles from park*
Starved Rock Lodge Conference Center - Oglesby, ILHotels/Motels
Relax in the rustic beauty and comfort of Starved Rock Lodge, Cabins and Starved Rock Inn. The historic Lodge has 69 guest rooms, which include three bay-window rooms, plus cabins nestled in the woods. Fireplaces can be found in four of the eight sunset cabins near the pool area...
Web Site: starvedrocklodge.com/
95.2 miles from park*
Savanna - Savanna, ILHotels/Motels
Located just 30 minutes from Galena and 2 hours from Chicago, Savanna is a great place for renewal and regeneration. We invite you to browse through our web-site and plan your getaway today.
Web Site: visitsavanna.com
24.9 miles from park*
Area Resources
Savanna - Savanna, ILTourism
Located just 30 minutes from Galena and 2 hours from Chicago, Savanna is a great place for renewal and regeneration. We invite you to browse through our web-site and plan your getaway today.
Web Site: visitsavanna.com
24.9 miles from park*
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Directions
Apple River Canyon State Park is located 2 ? hours west of Chicago. Take I-90 West to US Rt. 20 located by Rockford. Take US Rt. 20 West for approximately 50 miles to Rt. 78 North. Turn right onto Rt. 78, go 6 miles to Canyon Road. Take a left on Canyon Road. The park is well signed on Rt. 20 and Rt. 78.

Apple River Canyon State Park is located in the Northwest corner of Illinois. If you are traveling from the south, you can take I-39 to Rockford, then US Rt.20 West to Rt. 78 North, go 6 miles to Canyon Road, take a left on Canyon Road. The Park is well signed on Rt. 20 and Rt. 78.

USA Parks
Illinois
Northern Region
Apple River Canyon State Park
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