Field Guide to camping the midwest this autumn

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ILLINOIS

CAVE-IN-ROCK STATE PARK: Hiking trails, fishing on the Ohio River, sixty campsites and a limestone cave naturally carved thousands of years ago by water.

INDIANA

INDIANA DUNES STATE PARK: On the southern shores of Lake Michigan rests one of the most beautiful natural habitats in the Hoosier State. The Indiana Dunes is ranked fourth by the National Parks Service for plant diversity.

IOWA

PIKES PEAK STATE PARK: The 11 ½ miles of trails include Decorah limestone, the Bridal Veil Falls, and breathtaking views over the town of McGregor.

KANSAS

SCOTT STATE PARK: Home to the Native American El Cuartelejo ruins and The Steele Home, the park offers gorgeous natural wildlife as well as well-preserved history. National Geographic named this park a must-see.

Photo: TAHQUAMENON FALLS STATE PARK, MICHIGAN

Photo: TAHQUAMENON FALLS STATE PARK, MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN

TAHQUAMENON FALLS STATE PARK: Tahquamenon’s upper falls (50 foot falls, 200 feet across) are the main attraction, but the park also attracts visitors year round for cross country skiing, 40 miles of hiking and 20,000 acres of nature.

MINNESOTA

BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA: There are thousands of lakes and streams intertwined throughout this nature preserve. Bring your canoe to paddle one of the 1200 canoe routes, and your hammock to sleep under the stars at one of its 2000 campsites.

MISSOURI

VAN METER STATE PARK: A bird-watcher’s paradise and a home to the American Indian Cultural Center. View the hand-dug Old Fort, and witness the several burial grounds inside the park.

NEBRASKA

CHADRON STATE PARK: This is Nebraska’s oldest state park and is burrowed between buttes and Text Box: TAHQUAMENON UPPER FALLS, MICHIGANcanyons of Nebraska’s Pine Ridge. Perfect getaway for mountain bikers, hikers, archers and horseback riders.

SCOTT STATE PARK, KANSAS

SCOTT STATE PARK, KANSAS

NORTH DAKOTA

THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK: Journey through the Badlands, sit and lookout over Painted Canyon, catch a glimpse of wild buffalo, and sleep under the Northern Lights. This is one of the most unique landscapes in the Midwest.

OHIO

KELLEYS ISALND STATE PARK: Also known as Lake Erie’s Emerald Isle. This island sits near the US/Canada border. Beautiful walking paths and pictographs from Erie tribes from hundreds of years ago.

SOUTH DAKOTA

BEAR BUTTE STATE PARK: If you’re in town for a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, stay a few more days. View a scared mountain, catch a glimpse of buffalo and bald eagles, and experience the wonder and spiritualism of this area of the Midwest. (Do not disturb or photograph prayer cloths and tobacco ties).

WISCONSIN

APOSTLE ISLANDS NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Lighthouses, sea caves, sandy beaches align the shores of Lake Superior. Enjoy the cliffs and natural habitats abound. There are 21 islands, many of which have camping availability, and are accessible by ferry.