Rock Cut State Park

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7223 West Lane Road, Loves Park, IL, USA
(815) 885-3311

Rock Cut State Park Loves Park Reviews

kayguarnay kayguarn…
88 reviews
One of few places to hike, bike and kayak on the same day! May 08, 2016
I came here with a meetup group on Sunday to accomplish a "trifecta" aka multiple sports in one day!

This park is huge! there are times when you don't realize there are many visitors having picnics, hiking or camping at the same time.

It is a 1.5 hour drive from Chicago (bring toll money or I-Pass) and once you get here you'll never want to leave. They have a fully functioning concession stand/restaurant in case you forgot to bring a lunch. You can rent a kayak, stand up paddle, or pedal boat for 13$/hour (not bad!) and they prorate it for the other time you use. The kayaks are easy to use and you can take a short loop of about 3.5 miles around Pierce Lake (just mind the dam!) As you cross to the other bank, you will find 10s of turtles sunning themselves on logs, and some bull frogs and blue heron. We ran into some baby geese and ducks as well and basically lost count of the turtles. One log had 21 of them sitting on it! They are quite colorful with their orange underbellies.

After a spin around the lake, we took our bikes (you have to bring your own), and did about 8 miles of biking (to the beach and back, and through cut backs in the woods. After this we ate a quick lunch and took off on a 6 mile hike in another direction. It was neat to go through the different areas around the small creeks, and got about 700 feet of elevation gain overall.

You, of course shouldn't feel obligated to do quite so much. You can bring a picnic lunch and relax on the benches by the water, or have lunch in the concession stand.

In general, this park is well worth a visit!
twisting out of the kayak to take …
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kayguarnay kayguarn…
88 reviews
The perfect place for your relaxation Jun 05, 2016
This is my second review of this place, I realize, but it really is that good. I went back a month later, now that it is warmer and rented a stand up paddle. They are $13 per hour which is inordinately good for the type of paddling you get to do. I circumnavigated the lake again 3 miles and even got into some of the alcoves that you can't get to in a regular boat. That's where the turtles and heron are, and some of the fishermen hang out (watch out for lines). The lily pads are much more all over the place now and blooming, and the wind was gusting at times, so that made SUP a little more challenging, but I didn't fall in.

After the paddle, we went for a 10 mile bike ride (to the beach and the campgrounds) and then finished with a 3-4 mile hike around the park. There really is enough space in this park that I felt like I wasn't retracing my steps from before, but walked a whole new set of trails part of the way. The initial part of the hike was the same simply because it was so beautiful.

If you do get a chance to drive up here for the day, you will not regret it. Rock cut is a great park, if a little underappreciated.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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