IL State Parks: Kickapoo LbNA # 48828
|Placed Date||Jul 12 2009|
This box was carved by Atomic Beans of Chicago for the 2009 Great Lakes "All Things Green" Gathering. Kickapoo State Park was the sight of a very memorable camping trip early in their relationship. They were looking for a place where they could go camping and canoeing all in the same weekend and Kickapoo fit the bill. After the gathering, they asked if we would be willing to plant this box here for them.
Level of difficulty: easy-moderate. The trail is 2.5 miles long, with the box being a little over a mile from the trail head. If you follow this trail all the way to the end it will come out near the Inland Sea not so very far from the start of the clues for Coal Miner's Daughter. There are a few somewhat steep hills, but the trail is fairly wide and there are not many tree roots or potholes to trip you up. This trail runs between the Middle Fork River and several deep ponds with several overlooks off of the trail and the banks can be very steep at times, Please keep an eye on small children and dogs for their own safety (Tatsu enjoys playing in the river, unfortunately he also thinks it's a great idea to go over the bank off the river overlooks and slide down nearly vertical banks to do so, he hasn't been hurt or trapped yet but we've been lucky and he gets extra supervision on this trail). Because most of the trail is so far above the water, the trail is mostly dry even during the wet season (except for the low-lying areas) and is not very buggy in spite of being nice and shady and cool.
Kickapoo State Park is located near I-74 and has a nice campground, miles of hiking trails including some mountain biking trails, boat ramps and docks for fishing on the many ponds, and canoeing and inner-tubing on both the Middle Fork River. Well behaved dogs are allowed in both the campground and on the canoe trips.
Once you reach the park, locate the concession stand at Kickapoo Landing (near Clear Pond). You can either park at the Landing (maybe set up for a canoe trip of your own, or indulge in a snack or quick lunch at the cafe) and walk down the road (or follow the grassy path at the end of the parking lot/overflow parking along the pond and through the meadow) or continue driving to the parking lot near the River View Trail trail head. Take the trail up the hill and follow it down the hill and around the winding curves. Continue past the RV .25 mile marker until the trail splits. Follow the arrow to the left and take the higher trail from here. At the first river overlook on the left after the fork in the trail there will be a wooden fence hidden in the forest. Count 25 paces down the trail from the start of this fence and look for a faint trail up a little hill to the left of the trail. Wander around behind the bald cypress (the only one on the left of the trail at this spot in the trail) and to the left where you will find a fallen tree (you can actually see this tree from the trail if you look for it) that stretches from the edge of the bank almost to the trail. By the fork near the trail you will find a rock and some bark covering the prize you are searching for.