Friday, July 25, 2014

Buffalo Rock State Park July 24, 2014

When the severe storm came through on June 30th, it really did some damage.  About 90% of the trails at Starved Rock State Park are closed.  Fortunately we have 2 other state parks.  We haven't been to Buffalo Rock State Park in awhile so off we went.  29 hikers and 2 dogs. Enjoy!

Entry sign to the park
Titled "Effigy Tumuli" in tribute to the Native American burial grounds that inspired it, this unique "earth art" depicts five sculptures native to the Illinois River. The Effigy Tumuli was the vision of artist Michael Heizer who created the sculptures of a snake, turtle, catfish, frog and a water strider. To better appreciate and understand the sculptures, it is best to look first from a distance and then walk around on top of them.

Just as with Starved Rock, Stay on the Trail
We still saw some Wildflowers.  Some I know, some I don't.  I looked up a few, and hope I got them right.
Pretty, but don't know the name
I really wish I knew the summer wildflowers better.  I think I need to buy a book
Crown Vetch
Joe was telling us how the Effigy was formed.  Buffalo Rock was once the site of a mine, and as part of its conversion into a state park, the Ottawa Silica Company Foundation comissioned Heizer in 1983 to complete the large-scale tumuli at Buffalo Rock. The work was completed in 1985. The tumuli, like most of Heizer's earthworks, are massive in scale. Water strider is 685 feet long, frog is 340 feet long, turtle is 650 feet long, catfish is 770 feet long, and snake is 2,070 feet long from head to tail (though it curves). Whereas frog, turtle, and catfish are essentially mounds built upon the flat bluff of Buffalo Rock, turtle and snake utilize the natural geography to their advantage, with the turtle's shell being formed by a mound as the rock dips to the river level, and the snake curving around and also dipping down 90 feet to the river level.

The other 2 signs are missing.  They need to be updated.

View of Island from the viewing platform.  I think the purple flower is Purple Loosestrife.  It is an invasive swamp plant.
We were having a great hike and we looked up and there was a flock of Pelicans.

West end of Buffalo Rock

Cool corridor like formation
Queen Anne's Lace
Partridge Pea (check out the delicate leaves)
We arrived at the only open overlook in the Park
Both of these couples were staying at the Lodge.  One was from Oklahoma and the other was from Aurora
??? thoughts ???
In the Campanula family
True it it's name, The park has 2 resident buffalo
No feeding of the Bison!!!
Sign by the Bison cage
We saw many caterpillars, maybe soon we will see some butterflies!
Getting back to the Starved Rock State Park we are reminded of the trail closures.  Don't cross the signs, $120.00 fine.
The Starved Rock Gift Shop picks a different T-shirt every week and puts it on sale for $10.00.  This week they chose the Hike-a-palooza shirt.  Stop by in the next week for this special buy.

Another great day for a hike.  We are not sure where we are going next week.  Hopefully some of the trails at Starved Rock will finally be open.  

I will leave you with this: Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.


  1. I love your pictures! So happy there are still other trails to hike and explore.

  2. I like taking the photos. When I do a weekly blog, it was easy at first to get new photos. Then it turned a little harder to find new material and photos. Now I realize that every person doesn't read every post. Also I knew the landscape changed with each season, I just didn't realized how much. I'm glad you enjoy it.