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Lake Falls in Winter
Matthiessen State Park
Near Utica, Illinois
In the late 1800's Frederick Matthiessen purchased a parcel of land near Utica, IL on which to build a summer home. The land contained a unique feature for it's location in Illinois - a mile long canyon with a small stream running through it. The canyon was cut through the St. Peter's Sandstone by the Vermilion River following the last glacial melt. He employed 50 workers to build dams, bridges, stairways and walkways around the canyon.
People would travel from far away to walk through the canyon and around the unspoiled forest. The forest remains largely unspoiled to this day, thanks to the heirs of the Matthiessen fortune. The land once owned by Frederick Matthiessen was given to the State of Illinois to be set aside as a state park.
Beautiful in every season, the sandstone canyon and forest are a treat to explore.