When you think of beautiful and gorgeous state parks in Illinois this one doesn't usually come to mind.

Maybe it's because it's kind of off the beaten path and not quite as hyped up as Rock Cut or Starved Rock in Utica.

This one though is kind of a beaut when you think about it. It's just that, yeah, you need to remember it's there.

According to Bicycling.com, and their Beautiful State Parks You Never Heard Of list, one of the most "beautiful" is not far from Rockford.

They say Castle Rock State Park in Oregon is one that can't be missed.


The name of this park was inspired by a sandstone bluff that's located adjacent to Rock River and the terrain is known for being full of ravines and unique rock formations.

Truthfully, I have been driving by Castle Rock for years. Nestled alongside Route 2 on the way to Dixon, I never thought much of it, until last year.

For some reason or another, my family and I had nothing to do. In 2020, shocking, I know.

Anyway, we decided to take a drive down to Castle Rock to check it out. Let me tell you, Castle Rock is an underappreciated gem for this area.

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There's this rather giant and long twisty and turn-y stairway that, if you can make it all the way to the top, will provide some of the most breathtaking views you'll see in the Rockford area.

If you kind of feel the same way as I did regarding Castle Rock, take a cruise down there and see what it's all about.

You'll see what it's one of the most "beautiful" state parks in America.

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