Buffalo Rock State Park

Buffalo rock!  Buffalo, Tantanka, or American Bison are amazing, beautiful and one of America’s largest land animals.

I think Buffalo Rock State Park rocks!  I was off hiking in Buffalo Rock State Park.  I’ve been spending time in the central Illinois River area hiking, boating, exploring and enjoying it.  You might see a few more posts in and around it.

In an earlier post of mine, Arts and History Trail – Historic Town in Illinois, I wrote about starting the I & M Canal Trail in Lockport.  I included a map that shows the trail ends near Starved Rock State Park.  I decided to travel to the end of the trail.  The I & M Trail stops off near Buffalo Rock State Park.  The state park entrance is half a block down from the trail.

If you plan on running the trail from Lockport to the end, you can arrange to have someone or friends meet you at Buffalo Rock State Park.

While I was at the park, I saw the buffalo and the Effigy Tumuli.  It is a beautiful park with two separate trails.  Many visitors travel to Starved Rock, which is also beautiful, but don’t stop at Buffalo Rock State Park.

There is a playground and rest area with a giant stone fireplace at Buffalo Rock.  The trail experience at this state park is different from Starved Rock.

I’m going to let my photographs provide a visual tour of trail and trip to Buffalo Rock State Park.

It was a hot, sunny day and the buffalo took a dust bath to beat the heat.

buffalo resting in the sun

close up of buffalo

The buffalo are shedding their winter coats.  Buffalo are brown, horned animals weighing between 700 to 2,200 lbs.  These two were sleepy.

There are two trails in the park.  I started on the Woodland Trail that connects with the River Bluff Trail.

Woodland Trail

On one side of the trail is a woods, and on the other side is a native prairie.


I connected with the River Bluff Trail that runs along a river bluff with views of the Illinois River one side.

River Bluff Trail

I walked through a field of blooming yellow wildflowers on the trail, filled with butterflies and birds.

field of wildflowers and cotton ball plants

I also passed an Effigy Tumuli, earthwork mound on the trail.  The park has five mounds in the Native American custom as earthen animal sculptures to honor the water strider, turtle, snake, catfish and frog.

I am not sure which animal mound this one is.

an Effigy Tumuli mound

view of Illinois River from trail

I walked back from the River Bluff trail to the scenic overlook.  The trail was sunny and scented with the smell of the wildflowers.

The wooded overlook was a cool, shaded spot with a panoramic view of the Illinois River.  I stood there and watched the small fishing boats on the river.  The birds swooped and glided in the air.

Illinois River

rocks on the cliff by overlook

What new trail have you explored, enjoyed?

Do you have a favorite trail or path?

I’m always interested in learning about new ones.  Enjoy the outdoors.


One response to “Buffalo Rock State Park

  1. Pingback: 15 Great Places to Hike in Illinois | Canoe Communications·

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