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Illinois State Parks

USA Parks
Northern Region
Mississippi Palisades State Park
Mississippi Palisades State Park Mississippi River Seen From Sentinel Rock © Jacek Fortuna
Mississippi Palisades State Park © Tracy Barnett
16327A IL Rte. 84
Savanna, Illinois   61074

Phone: 815-273-2731
Reservations: 815-273-2731
The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do - in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the park?s southern routes, puts you in touch with the past. Walk them and you?ll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago.

Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.
Nature of the Area
Palisades is the word used to describe a line of lofty, steep cliffs usually seen along a river, and Mississippi Palisades, 3 miles north of Savanna in Carroll County, handsomely lives up to its name. Caves are evident as are dangerous sink holes-limestone caves that go straight down. Erosion has carved intriguing rock formations, including Indian Head, with its aquiline characteristics, and Twin Sisters, a pair of humanoid figures on the bluff tops. The U.S. Interior Department recognized the remarkable nature of this area when in 1973 it designated acreage here as a national landmark.

Wooded ravines, whose brilliant hues splash the cliffs with color each autumn, dissect the unglaciated terrain. Ferns, dot the deep ravines, while in the park?s northern region, leaves of the white birch ripple in the wind. Each spring and summer the valleys and slopes are dappled with the blooms of trillium, bluebell, lobelia, shooting star and yellow ladies? slipper.

Animal life, within the park and the river areas immediately adjoining it, is varied. Waterfowl and shorebirds are numerous, as are wild turkeys. Striking pileated woodpeckers make their home in the park, and depending on ice conditions, eagles feed at the river in January and February. Because so many birds migrate along the river, their lyrical songs can be heard at the Mississippi Palisades each spring and fall.

But not all that?s fascinating about Mississippi Palisades? wildlife is in the skies. White-tailed deer, gray squirrel, skunk, muskrat and weasel can be viewed in the park, as can mink, gray and red fox, woodchuck and, even occasionally, badger.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
 Electric Sitesyes
Park Store
Forgot something? If you did, please stop by the concession stand located in the park to pick up the camping supply or grocery item you left behind. You will find the concession open from May 1 - September 15 and holidays during the week with varied hours.
With 241 Class A and B sites in both shaded and open areas, Mississippi Palisades is in demand by campers. Electrical hookups are available at 110 sites. Showers and flush toilets are situated in three buildings and are in operation from May 1 until Oct 31. You can pick up supplies at a camp convenience store, open during the summer. The campground also features water and two sanitary dump stations. Only campers with permits are allowed in the campground, with admittance prohibited from 10 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Reservations are no longer being taken for the Class A and B sites at Mississippi Palisades.

Two youth camping areas are also available. These may be reserved from June 1 through October 31. An adult must accompany every group of 15 minors. Any group of 25 or more must get permission from the site personnel before entering the park.
Nearby Accommodations
BBs / Inns
Our Vacation Rental Home is located right on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River between Savanna and Thomson Illinois. Our location has one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Mississippi River around. We are only a few miles south of the Mississippi Palisades State Park and just one block away from the Great River Bike path that runs from Savanna to East Moline. Spend your next vacation or leisure weekend on the Mighty Mississippi.
8.9 miles from park*
Blue Bed Breakfast - Savanna, IL
BBs / 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.
3 miles from park*
You will feel right at home when you reach Carroll County, our corner of beautiful Northwest Illinois. The magnificent Mississippi River and outdoor spaces will refresh your spirit and touch our soul.
0.1 miles from park*
Savanna - Savanna, IL
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.
3 miles from park*
Hickory Hideaway - Shannon, IL
Cottages 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.
18 miles from park*

Throw a checkered tablecloth across one of the park?s many picnic tables and enjoy one of summer?s simple pleasures. Playgrounds and toilets are convenient to the picnic areas. The shelter houses and drinking fountains in the park attest to the 1930's craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Three shelters are available to groups of 25 or more on a reservation basis.
The gateway to seeing the park?s impressive assortment of plant and animal life is its rugged 13-mile trail system. The five trails in the northern part of the park are generally wider and less strenuous than the five in the south, which are narrow and extremely close to the bluff. The southern trails also are very hazardous when wet.

The North System includes High Point Trail at 3.5 miles and Aspen at 1.9 miles. Sentinel Trail, at 1.2 miles including spurs, is the South System?s longest hike, but it and other southern loops aren?t for the tenderfoot. Ozzie?s Point, Louis? Point and Lookout Point, four developed overlooks accessible by short walks, offer a surfaced trail leading to an overlook. Oak Point offers a trail surface suitable for the physically challenged.

Hiking trails are closed during the park?s three-day firearm deer season, and specific information in available at the park office.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 30 Great views of the Mississippi River.
Very pretty area. We saw a variety of birds. Good trails and clean campsites. The river is awesome!
May 9 beautiful by tara
the hiking trail was amazing
February 23 A favorite place by Bernadette
I marvel that we are blessed to live nearby this park. The person who said the overlooks were blocked by trees did not visit Lookout Point; a breathtaking view every time. Hiking, camping, or just a quick stop...we never tire of it. If you take children on some clifftop trail areas, be prepared to hold tight to their hands. Hesitant to post & encourage crowding the park, but that would be selfish!

Area Campgrounds
Timber Lake Resort
8216 Black Oak Road
Mt. Carroll, IL
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
Cottages and Cabins
Within a 10 minute drive from Starved Rock and even closer to Matthiessen State Parks you will find a gorgeous, tranquil property with spacious cabins on 50 wooded acres. All with full kitchens and outdoor fire pits. 3 dog friendly.
86 miles from park*
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...
82.7 miles from park*
Area Resources
You will feel right at home when you reach Carroll County, our corner of beautiful Northwest Illinois. The magnificent Mississippi River and outdoor spaces will refresh your spirit and touch our soul.
0.1 miles from park*
Savanna - Savanna, IL
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.
3 miles from park*

From I-90, exit at US Rt. 20 west (Galena/Freeport exit). From Rt. 20, turn south on Rt. 84. The park is located 18 miles from Rt. 20.

From I-80, exit on Rt. 84 and travel north approximately 50 miles to reach the park which is located three miles north of Savanna.


Illinois State Parks