Apple River Canyon State Park

Visitors to Galena, IL looking to enjoy a little nature will find no end of outdoor destinations to explore.  One of the area’s most popular, Apple River Canyon State Park, is just minutes away from our Galena bed and breakfast.

Spring is here, summer is just around the corner, and the weather is fantastic. No wonder were all feeling that strong urge to get out into nature. Guests staying at Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages will be happy to discover that they don’t have far to go to do just that.

Our Galena inn is situated in a panoramic valley, on 10 secluded acres of meadows and gardens. Come explore our mile-long walking trail, visit our farm animals, or just sit back in the porch swing, watching the birds and taking in those gorgeous sunsets. We’re a “nature lover’s bed and breakfast,” after all!

You say you’re ready to do a little sight-seeing? Great idea! The location of our Galena area B&B also makes the perfect home base for all your Driftless Region adventures. Charge your battery with one of our hearty, homemade breakfasts and you’ll be ready to hit the road. Now where to go?

Illinois’ Driftless Region abounds in parks, rivers, trails, scenic overlooks, unique geological formations, and more. Nearby Apple River Canyon State Park has a little bit of everything: hiking, picnicking, fishing, and more.

ducks at Apple River Canyon State Park

Apple River Canyon State Park

The park is located at 8763 E. Canyon Road, Apple River, IL 61001, just 20 minutes away from Hawk Valley Retreat. The area is home to limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams, and plenty of wildlife. Apple River Fort State Historic Site is also nearby.

Apple River Canyon State Park offers 1,907 acres of nature to explore. Nature lovers and birders will enjoy the park’s foliage and wildlife. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, eagles, hawks, and 47 varieties of other birds have been spotted here. You’ll also find a wide variety of ferns, wildflowers, and herbs throughout the park.

Those hoping to stretch their legs will find five different trails to explore. Pine Ridge Trail, Tower Rock Trail, River Route Trail, Sunset Trail, and Primrose Trail all wind through the woods for several miles. Primrose Trail is even fully accessible. All the trails are easy to moderate out and back paths, except for Pine Ridge Trail, which is a loop trail.

trout in Apple River

The River Route Trail is probably the most popular, as it runs alongside the Apple River’s course through the park. The steady flow of the Apple River formed the canyon over thousands of years leaving behind the massive, colorful canyon walls that now rise high above the water.

The Apple River is home to smallmouth bass, sunfish, crappie, carp, and suckers. Fishing season sees the river is stocked with trout. Anyone hoping to throw a line in will need a valid Illinois fishing license.

The park is a nice place for a picnic with four picnic areas, including tables and grills. There are also three shelters, two of which are accessible. The shelters are popular and require a shelter reservation for use. Fresh drinking water and restroom facilities are also available. Visit the park website for more information.

What is it you hope to do or see on your Galena getaway? Let us know and we can help you make your plans. Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages loves sharing the Galena area with our guests!