Hidden Gem: Matthiessen State Park in Northern Illinois
No offense intended, Chicago, but I didn't think you were capable of having something so pretty like this so close to you. It's Matthiessen State Park in Illinois and it really does seem like it's a hidden gem.
I'll credit a user on the Illinois sub-Reddit page for this find. They took a trip to Matthiessen State Park and captured video of the trip and it's...breathtaking.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources website talks about the streams, canyons and waterfalls. Two of those things I don't normally associate with upstate Illinois. They call it a geological wonder and I completely agree.
If you look at the trail map, you'll find eye candy everywhere.
The nice thing about this park is it's only about a 3 hour drive from the Quincy area.
The world has heard of the Wisconsin Dells. Maybe they should include the Matthiessen State Park in Illinois to their "sweet dells list". I consider it a hidden gem that looks likely to be more than worth the day trip.
Note that as of late October, the park is temporarily closed due to flooding of the Vermillion River. Here's hoping it's open again soon. Be sure to check the official state website for updates.