SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Fox Ridge State Park

By April Dowling

SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Fox Ridge State Park

Sprawling across thousands of acres with twinkling lakes and lush vegetation, Fox Ridge State Park is the ideal escape. Whether you’re looking for a camping getaway, pristine hiking trails, or unmatched scenic views, check out all the best things to do in and around Fox Ridge State Park. 

1. Fox Ridge State Park, Charleston, IL

Located in East Central Illinois, Fox Ridge State Park is known for its lush valleys and steep ridges. This 2,064-acre park is a beautiful destination year-round and offers a variety of recreational activities including hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing. So, whether you’re planning on a short hike and picnic or an extended vacation, Fox Ridge State Park is sure to provide a relaxing and memorable outdoor experience. 

2. Loop Trail

Trails are a great way to view the abundant wildlife and vegetation at Fox Ridge State Park. The Loop Trail is nearly five miles long and is moderately difficult due to the steep descents and numerous steps. It’s accessible year-round and features many wooden bridges, which are sometimes out of service. Several rest benches are available. 

3. Eagle’s Nest

Every park features a scenic spot, and Eagle’s Nest is one you can’t miss at Fox Ridge. Eagle’s Nest is located on top of a very steep bluff overlooking the river below. You’ll have to climb 144 steps to access the deck and experience the amazing panoramic views year-round. 

4. Camping

Fox Ridge offers ample camping including two rustic cabins and over 40 campsites with access to a sanitary dumping station, toilet facilities, and shower building. Picnic tables, drinking water, and cooking grills are also available for campers. 

5. The Dudley House, Charleston, IL

Take a look into the past at the Dudley House in Charleston. This historic home was built in the late 1800s and features Queen Anne style architecture, which is rare in Illinois. The home is completely restored to its original splendor with fixtures, furniture, and art dating back to the late 19th century. 

6. Five Mile House, Charleston, IL

Known as the oldest house in Coles County, the Five Mile House is a tourist attraction offering a glimpse into the 19th history. The home was built around 1840 and has a rich history worth discovering. This landmark was restored to its original appearance with modern updated added for functionality. 

7. Greenwood School Museum, Charleston, IL

Built around 1860, the Greenwood School building is a one-room schoolhouse that held classes from 1895 to 1948. The schoolhouse has undergone restoration since 1975 and is now open to the public. This museum is another piece of Charleston history and interesting attraction near Fox Ridge State Park. 

8. Mac’s Uptowner, Charleston, IL

Located nearby Fox Ridge State Park, Mac’s Uptowner is a great place to relax after a long day of recreation. They offer a large drink selection, friendly bartenders, and live music most weekends. This joint is Charleston’s main music venue. You’ll also find pool tables, video games, and great food. 

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