SAND RIDGE STATE FOREST
Situated southwest of Peoria in the central part of the state, Sand Ridge is the largest of four state forests in Illinois. The region is hilly and forested with oak-hickory and pine, and there are also open prairie grasslands. Surprisingly, some desert flora and fauna are found here as well. Deer, coyote, and fox are among the wildlife.
Activities: About 44 miles of hiking, backpacking, and horse trails wind through the forest and form a number of loops. Some trails are used for cross-country skiing in winter. Hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Backcountry camping is allowed at 12 separate designated areas along the trails. A permit must first be obtained from forest headquarters. Fires are restricted to established fire pads. Water must be carried in.
For Further Information: Sand Ridge State Forest, P.O. Box 111, Forest City, IL 61532; (309)597-2212.