Rainy Days at Stone Fort Trail – Giant City State Park

Deliciously Ordinary – Lindsay + Tim Stockhecke

March 2023 | www.deliciouslyordinary.com

There is this sweet spot nestled between winter and spring where the forest is waking up and you can witness the transition firsthand. The fiddleheads peak through, the varieties of moss become reminiscent of tide pools along the coast, and critters begin to make themselves known. Oftentimes the moments few venture out, the cool wet days, are the best to slow down and watch this show take flight. We visited Stone Fort Trail during one of these very days, 41 degrees with light rain.

Stone Fort Trail, Giant City State Park, Jackson County Illinois.

Stone Fort Trail is one of eight designated trails within Giant City State Park, 4,000 acres of forest just fourteen miles south of Murphysboro Main Street This short trail is only .3 miles making it great for our after school/work frolic. It has a prehistoric stone wall dating back over 1,000 years to AD 600 – AD 900 which is theorized to have been used as meeting places or ceremonial locations and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It once stood 285 long, six feet high and nine feet thick.

Heading up the trail we were framed by sandstone bluffs to our right and a cascading waterfall to our left that with caution we were able to explore. Following the trail up to the stone fort (which is indicated by well-marked signage) there are sweeping views from an approximate eighty foot bluff.

Stone Fort Trail Overlook, Giant City State Park.

The parking lot is directly across the street as well as picnic tables and a creek for additional exploring. At the bottom of the bluffs is a large grassy area for a liesurely hang out or family game.

Sandstone bluffs at Stone Fort Trail, Giant City State Park.

While it wasn’t open when we were there the Giant City State Park Visitors Center is a fun stop as you head into the park and the Giant City Lodge provides the cozy cabin meal of your dreams.

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