Located a short distance North of Savanna, Illinois Mississippi Palisades is an Illinois State Park and Campground. Portions of the park include high steep sided bluffs looming over the Mississippi River valley.
We like this park for the numerous scenic overlooks of the Mississippi and its extensive network of hiking trails, some of which scale the high bluffs of the park. The limestone bluffs contain some interesting rock formations as well as caves and sink holes. A paved park road runs up the south bluff of the park so you can drive to most of the scenic overlooks. Several picnic shelters, built by the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps workers, are along this route for day users. If a person isn’t camping overnight, the park is a worthwhile day visit for the scenic views and some of the shorter hiking and nature trails. Fall color is an ideal time to catch the best scenery the park has to offer. Spring time you can catch flowering trees and wild flowers plus a bonus attraction of being able to see and hear migrating birds along the Mississippi River Flyway.
Palisades Park Hiking Trails
The park offers 15 miles of hiking trails of varying degrees of length and difficulty (see map of trails) with lots of opportunity to view wild life and wild flowers. In general there is a fair amount of up and down travel along these trails and I’d rate only the short trails to some of the scenic overlooks as modest difficulty. The North Trail system can be reached from the campground. The South Trails are most easily reached by parking your car at one of the trail heads.
Palisades Park Campground
The park offers 241 camp sites, of which 112 offer electric service for RVs or tent campers. The units are nicely spaced and are tree-lined. There are 3 modern washroom/shower buildings spaced throughout the campground and a collection of vault toilet facilities. Water hydrants are strategically located throughout the park and at the two RV Dump Stations.
The fees are reasonable compared to private campgrounds. The sites are graveled and generally level. Our only complaint during our recent visit was some needed repair maintenance of our nearby washroom/shower building.
Mississippi Palisades State Park Campground Map
Miller’s Landing, on the west side of highway 84, has a boat launch and good access for canoeists interested in exploring the Mississippi backwaters. In nearby Savanna you’ll find the Great River Bike trail (running to Fulton and the Quad Cities) and the gateway to the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Savanna is also a popular stop over for “Iron Horse” rallies.