Initial Visit: April 24th, 2017
Description: Carpenter Park is more than your typical park.
Since the coming of Spring, I have been getting the itch to hike. There are plenty of places to hike in Illinois, but I wanted something different. Something off the beaten path. Somewhere that wasn’t Starved Rock or a 2 hour drive for me. After scouring Google Maps for a place, I stumbled upon Carpenter Park. So in my car and off to hike I go!
Carpenter Park is located on the outskirts of Springfield, almost in Sherman. Taking Sherman Road in, you will find it on the right. Your turn will take you to a one lane road where it leads to a small but ample parking lot. Beware, this road is mighty bumpy and will test your suspension due to all the dips and holes.
Parking at Carpenter Park, you’ll easily notice the main board that has a map with the trails marked on it. Food for thought, if you ever go hiking, take a photo this is map with your phone. You never know when you will need it. I have referred to the maps on my phone many times, just to make sure I was where I thought I was.
The main parking area has all the entry hiking points, so it is easy to hop on a trail and start walking. I noticed main of the trails tend to intersect and cross each other, so you could easily go from one path to another to another. While this was fine and dandy, it was at a certain point that I noticed all the crossings no longer had markers. So you really need to pay attention to where you are going or you may end up getting lost… like I did.
Just like at Matthiessen State Park, I somehow wandered out of the hiking area and into the main road that leads to the parking lot.
As for the trails, they are all fairly flat, well-defined and suitable for people of all hiking skills. There are quite a few that had logs laying across the path, so you will have to go around or climb over. Not a hassle for someone who is in shape, but if you are looking for a gentle walk, this may be a problem. Some paths had a path going around the logs, but it’s not a guarantee.
While kind of getting lost, I did stumble upon some really cool cliffs/canyon of Sandstone. They were facing the Sangamon River. If you view some of the images below, I managed to sit on a part that stuck out. It was a fantastic view as long as you didn’t look down and see the rocks and river below. Thrilling!
Overall, I was here just shy of 2 hours and it was a fun place to hike. It is somewhat connected to another place called Gurgens Park that seems to offer more of the same as here. So if you felt daring, you could literally cross the road that splits them and hike both places. Carpenter Park has some interesting history, if you read the Wiki link below. Guess it is an Old Route 66 attraction. How cool!
If you do hike/camp/fish in nature areas, please please please pick up after yourself. I filled an entire Kroger bag full of trash. Keep Nature Beautiful.
1 Carpenter Park Trail
Springfield, IL 62707