View Full Version : Trip suggestion.. In 5 hours from Chicago..

Varakan Ten Tipprapa
28-Dec-2005, 10:24
Hello all,

First we plan to go for ski trip in WI, but the weather is so weird now, no more snow now and get a bit warmer during New year.

So, my plan has changed.. Pleas anyone have a route trip for scenery for taking picture or sight seeing and don't drive more than 5 hours form Chicago ( ~350 Miles)
I went to Turkey Run and Park near by Chicago already, would like to go a bit far more.. Please me.

Thank you very much,

Brett Deacon
28-Dec-2005, 10:53
I'd recommend heading to Starved Rock State Park. It's about 2 hours from Chicago near Utica, Illinois (see http://www.iit.edu/~travel/srsp.html for a map and park info). The park is about as scenic as northern Illinois gets. It's also really neat to explore in the wintertime because park's many canyons fill up with massive frozen waterfalls. You might catch climbers with ice picks scaling the ice falls, or if you're really adventurous you can try this yourself. If there's no snow, at least you still have the canyons and ice falls to inspire you.

eric mac
28-Dec-2005, 10:56
You can always try Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois river (I believe). Haven't been there in a while, but it has nice hiking trails and scenery.

You can also check the Illinois DNR (Department of Natural Resources) for other ideas.

Five hours can get you to most of the midwest states. The Indiana dunes and Michigan coastline is also very reachable in 5 hours round trip.


MIke Sherck
28-Dec-2005, 10:58
How about the Lake Michigan shoreline in Wisconsin, maybe up to Lake Superior? The lack of the usual heavy snow should make it more accessible than it normally is this time of year, and if 'nature, ain't it grand!" isn't what you wanted, there should be quite a few little resort towns and villages mostly empty this time of year.

28-Dec-2005, 11:36
Head to Galena for a visit, then on to Dububuque and go North on 61 just a bit. 61 runs up the Mississippi River and there are several bluff-top viewpoints. If you want to go further North, stop in McGregor for a to visit the all-original early American clothing stores (two), then up to Pikes Peak in McGregor for a great view of the Mississippi.

Varakan Ten Tipprapa
28-Dec-2005, 12:10
Sorry my friend I went to Starved Rock State Park already .. I didn't mention that, sorry

28-Dec-2005, 13:17
Well you cant get to Lake Superior in 5 hours unless you do 95 the whole way, so I will recommend Door County WI. The sightseeing is good by midwest standards , though there is a lot of private property and you may not be able to photograph all of it. There are rocky dolomitic shorelines, sandy beaches, and "quaintness" abounds (though so do tourists at times). There are some parks and reserves . Whitefish Dunes (further south on the peninsula) and the Ridges Sanctuary at Bailey's Harbor with some beautiful trails through bog, fen, and forest are just a couple of them.

Rick Moore
28-Dec-2005, 15:25
If you decide to check out Starved Rock State Park, which I highly recommend, you should also visit Mathiesen State Park, which is about five minutes west and south of Starved Rock. It's a beautiful limestone canyon on the Vermillion River with trails both on the canyon rim and down at river level. There's a long wooden stairway down to the bottom of the canyon which is reminds me of the Odessa Steps in "Battleship Potemkin."

28-Dec-2005, 15:44
I went to Starved Rock on Monday and there wasn't much to shoot. No water or ice in Wildcat falls, St. Louis falls had some ice. Watched eagles feeding in the early morning. I talked to a guy who recommended Credit Island in Iowa (just across the border) for viewing and shooting (pictures) of the eagles. He said they are so close I could photograph them with my 5x7.

Ron Marshall
28-Dec-2005, 16:00
This is outside your five hour limit, but you may want to consider it for a long weekend in the spring: Great Smoky Monuntains National park is 8.5 hours from Chicago.

Daniel Blakeslee
28-Dec-2005, 17:09
I second jj's advice to go to the Galena-Dubuque-Mississippi River area. Galena is one of the most scenic and historic towns in Illinois. It produced thirteen Union generals, including Grant, whose home is one of the town's major tourist attractions. A beautiful area (for Illinois).

Neal Wydra
28-Dec-2005, 17:22
Dear Varakan,

Check out: http://www.nps.gov/ilmi/



29-Dec-2005, 06:53
Just outside your limits is the Sleeping Bear Dunes area in NW MI. And you can see the Weston show at the Muskegon Museum of Art while you are over there.

David Richhart
29-Dec-2005, 11:04
Consider the north coast of Ohio