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Walking & Hiking in Galena

Galena and the surrounding area is awakening from its winter slumber as buds and blooms emerge along its hillsides and scenic vistas. Spring’s mild temperatures coupled with midweek’s lighter crowds, make now a perfect time to visit Galena.

Whether you enjoy a leisurely stroll, a quiet country hike or prefer a more vigorous challenge, Galena and the surrounding area boasts numerous scenic walking and hiking options:

The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel Trail

Directly behind The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel sits 17 acres of trails and timber to explore. A 1.1-mile circular trail leads hikers throughout the hotel's very own "Valley of Glendalough." The trail is hilly and steep in places.

Apple River Canyon State Park

Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife are found in this beautiful state park. A scenic canyon area was formed by the action of the winding waters of the Apple River.

Buehler Preserve

A mowed trail is kept around the perimeter of Buehler Preserve, a 25-acre property which features a hilly woodland (eastern portion) as well as a flood plain (western portion).

Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve

This 85-acre site features views of the Mississippi River and its backwater sloughs.

Galena River Trail

This popular 6-mile (one way) trail is perfect for walking, jogging, biking and birdwatching. Appreciate the natural beauty of the Galena River, Buehler Preserve, Recreation Park and historic Main Street, which are all within close proximity of the trail in varying locations.

Houseshoe Mound

One of the most scenic properties in all of northern Illinois, Horseshoe Mound features a view spanning three states. Hiking trails offer close views of the city of Galena and distant views of the Mississippi River, as well as Iowa and Wisconsin.

Main Street

For a slower pace, walk down historic Main Street in Galena. Meander through shops and art galleries. Pause to admire 19th century storefronts.

Mississippi Palisades State Park

Located near the point that the Mississippi and Apple rivers join to become one, this 2,500-acre park north of Savanna, Illinois, is known for its steep cliffs, beautiful trails and intriguing rock formations. Rich in American Indian history, the park has national landmark status.

Pathway of the Levee

Walk hand in hand during a quiet stroll on the 1/2-mile Pathway on the Levee. Located just east of the shopping district, the pathway is perched above the gentle waters of the Galena River.

Schurmeier Teaching Forest

This 52-acre property features an 11-acre teaching forest. A self-guided booklet is available at the kiosk and corresponds to signage along the trail. This rugged, hillside property is entirely wooded; however, the two miles of trails are suitable for beginner and intermediate hikers.