Autumn’s cooler weather is tailor made for taking a hike. Add in all the pretty colorful trees and you’ve got the making for a wonderful weekend activity. Where to go? Here are some of our favorite spots here in Clinton County.
With more than nine hiking trails, Eldon Hazlet State Park offers a great all-family option for shorter or longer treks. Two shorter trails have interpretive signs. The half-mile Bluestem Trail loops through a prairie restoration, which includes native grasses and flowers. Wetland Educational Trail, also just a half-mile long, is ideal for spotting waterfowl, shore and wading birds. The Cherokee Trail is a colorful choice for autumn, as the three-mile hike takes you through an oak and hickory forest.
Not far away, Carlyle Lake Multi-Use Trail provides a 10.3-mile link between the town of Carlyle and Carlyle Lake and a nice path for hiking. You’ll find this is one of the more popular trails for outdoor types, with bikers, joggers and walkers al sharing the space. A fun highlight of the trail—and a great little hike on its own—is the Kaskaskia River Walk. This 1.3-mile section is located below the Carlyle Lake Main Dam and follows along the Kaskaskia River. A pedestrian bridge links the east and west sides of the river.
At the Hidden Lake Winery outside of Aviston, visitors can enjoy a pleasant walk on the easy half-mile path around the lake, then head back for a glass of wine in the tasting room or out on the porch.
Whether hiking or just heading out to explore, come enjoy a laid-back weekend here in Clinton County.