Sand Ridge State Forest
Open: Open all year
Number of Sites: 39
For those who think central Illinois is one big corn field, Sand Ridge State Forest will come as a very pleasant surprise. The forest is an island in a sea of agriculture. Just minutes southwest of Peoria, this 7,200-acre, the largest of Illinois' State Forests, boasts sweeping expanses of native oak-hickory, extensive plantations of pine, sprawling open fields, grasslands, and completely unique sand prairies. For a refreshing, invigorating taste of unspoiled nature and an opportunity to experience truly unique environment, Sand Ridge State Forest is ideal.
What better way to spend the day than to load up the car with the family for an old-fashioned picnic. The Turkey Pass Picnic Area is located on Cactus Drive just north of Pine Campground. Table, grill, water, shelter, and pit-vault toilets are provided.
Horseman's Park Campground offers Class C camping for the equestrian community. The 50 miles of trails and over 120 miles of fire lanes offer the average equestrian an excellent opportunity (Equestrian Regulations). For a horse to cover all the trails and fire lanes, it would take a good weekend's worth of riding. Fire pads, hitching rails, picket-line posts, and pit-vault toilets are provided for visitor use. There is a shelter for day use and can be reserved by sending the shelter reservation application to the forest headquarters.
Forty-four miles of marked trails, ranging from 1.5 to 15 miles each, and 120 miles of fire lanes offer unequaled opportunities to the hiker, back packer, horseback rider or snowmobiler.
A person can take advantage of 26 miles of designated trails when there's at least 4 inches of snow. The trail head is located at the Oak Campground just of Cactus Drive and the trail is open 24 hours a day.
An abundance of deer, red and gray fox, coyote, squirrel, raccoon, quail, pheasant, woodcock and dove make this an ideal location for hunting.
Hand Trap Range
A facility is open all year, except during the upland game season, for visitors interested in shooting trap.
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