Well, we survived another winter, and the weather is giving us a break now that spring is upon us. I don’t know if you felt cooped up, but I certainly did. I need to plan some outdoor recreation, but the question is what and where?
Last year, I was on the road and visited Marshall, IL. Jennifer Bishop is the director of the Marshall Chamber of Commerce, and I asked her if she had a recommendation for someplace peaceful to have a quick lunch. She said I should consider the dining room at Lincoln Trail State Park. It was nearby, so I checked it out.
The restaurant looked out over a 146-acre lake and a boat dock. There were hummingbird feeders hanging just outside the windows, and they were very active with birds. The food was simple and well prepared, and the staff could not have been nicer. They even deliver dinners to the campground for free, believe it or not.
Lincoln Trail State Park offers a number of activities, including camping, fishing, picnicking, and boating. After a very affordable lunch, I enjoyed a short hike along the side of the lake. It was beautiful.
The experience got me thinking about what a great asset we have in our state parks. They offer a wide range of outdoor activities; they are well maintained and always affordable. I did a search and found our state parks to be accessible and conveniently located, perfect for someone like me who could use some exercise and fresh air.
I told Jennifer at the Chamber how much I enjoyed my experience at the park and she told me, “It’s a hidden gem. I love telling visitors about hidden gems in our community. The locals forget about its simplistic beauty and number of activities. We are so lucky to have it in our backyard. My family loves to take advantage of it any chance we get.”
There you have it. We are all supporting our state parks with our tax dollars, and I for one will take better advantage of them this year. Some fresh air and a brisk walk are only a few of the possibilities. Lincoln Trail also offers winter sporting opportunities, like ice fishing and skating (weather permitting). But after last winter, I think I’ll pass on the cold activities.
You can check out other tips for getting healthy and moving more on the Health & Wellness section of our site.
Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. If you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, and he is known for his inability to parallel park.