This is the second in a series called Top 3 Gottados (Got to do). This series will spotlight interesting and unique areas that everyone enjoying the Shawnee Hills should look into.
Last week we looked at the Top 3 Gottados-Easy to Get to Waterfalls in Southern Illinois. This week with the warmer weather we will look at the Top 3 Gottados – Easy to Get to Wildflower Hikes.
Each of these areas represent a varied and interesting collection of wildflowers. The understory of the forest floor is now coming to life and most wildflowers will begin to peak this month, before the leaf story becomes full. So we now present these three easy to get to treasures.
- Trillium Trail @ Giant City State Park – This is a great trail for an introduction to the variety of wildflowers in Southern Illinois. Even with last years wind event this trail will still produce and abundance of flowers. Most of the flowers will reside in the shadows of the bluff line where the environment is moist and out of direct sunlight. An absolute must is to take a trip to the Visitors Center and gather important information on the types of flowers to be on the look out for.
- Main Waterfall Trail @ Ferne Clyffe State Park – Yes, if you read last weeks post you saw this one on the easy to get to waterfalls in Southern Illinois, but it also offers a carpet of wildflowers for inspection, especially the trout lily. A nice flat handicapped accessible trail that ends at an elegant waterfall.
- Ghost Dance Canyon Trail @ Dixon Springs State Park – This is a fascinating area with a stream chocked full of huge boulders. This trail requires good hiking boots and a wet slippery rock crossing, but if you are careful you will be rewarded with a blanket of wildflowers covering the tops of van size boulders near the end of the trail. Gates may be locked to the swimming pool parking area so check with site supervisor before going.
Enjoy these exceptional trail of the Shawnee Hills and make sure to acquire a wildflower identification book such as the Peterson Field Guide for Northeastern/North-Central North America to help make your wildflower exploration more enjoyable. So get out there and enjoy the Shawnee Hills Outdoors!
Disclaimer: Caution: Waterfalls can be dangerous. Rocks are slippery. Never get close to the edge. The author and Shawnee Hills Outdoors disclaim any liability or loss incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application on any information contained in this blog