Grab your hiking boots and your pup's leash and hit the trails at Franklin Creek State Park! This park in Illinois features more than five miles of trails for you and Fluffy to leave your footprints on. These marked trails make it easy to navigate the woods. The Mill Springs Trail is handicap accessible and is paved; it is a little more than a quarter of a mile.
Another trail you can traverse if you want more of a challenge is the Pioneer Pass. There are three creek passings on this trail, but it does have a moderate rating for its difficulty level. Whatever trail you choose, be sure to take some plastic doggie poop bags so you can clean up immediately after your dog. Also, bring plenty of water so you and your pup keep hydrated during your hike.
The park is home to a 198-nature preserve which features rocky bluffs, creeks, and a variety of rocks that date back millions of years. You'll also see some plants unique to the area including Kentucky coffeetree, white oak, shagbark hickory, or hop hornbeam. Take your camera if you want some beautiful pictures, but remember the rule to take only pictures, leave only footprints.
Discourage your dog from digging or pulling any plants up while you're hiking. If you get hungry, you can rest at a picnic shelter that is equipped with electricity, water, bathrooms, grills, and tables. There are several picnic locations throughout the park, and some need reservations, so be sure to call first.
The walk-in picnic area is Sunday's Bridge, and it has four picnic tables. Even if your dog is an obedient pup, make sure Fluffy stays on a leash at all times while at Franklin Creek State Park. Your furry friend should also be able to respond to your command and be healthy with up-to-date vaccines.