Rep Stephens

Stephens Summer Scenes: Tip of the State

Published: August 21, 2023

Horseshoe Lake (Alexander County)

As you explore this wildlife area, you may be reminded of the deep South. The charm of bald cypress, tupelo gum, swamp cottonwood trees, and wild lotus makes the recreational activities at the site even more enjoyable. Just 7 miles north of Cairo, this 10,200 acre area includes a shallow lake, picnicking, camping, boating, fishing, and hunting.

Find more information online here!

Giant City

Near Carbondale, Giant City is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Especially popular is the Giant City Nature Trail, home of the Giant City Streets – huge bluffs of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago. Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, this park offers camping and a lodge with a gift shop, lounge, and swimming pool. Hiking, rock climbing, rappelling are available in certain locations and there is an equestrian campground with a 12-mile loop trails. Ponds are also located throughout the park for bank fishing.

Find more information online here and information about the Shawnee National Forest online here!

Union County State Fish & Wildlife Area

This area encompasses 6,202 acres in the Lower Mississippi River bottomlands division of Illinois. Shallow sloughs and water areas are scattered and more prominent water areas include Grassy Lake and Lyerla Lake. White-tailed deer, wintering Canada geese and waterfowl, bald eagles, golden eagles, and more wildlife are commonly observed. Activities include boating, fishing, and hunting.

Find more information online here!

Trail of Tears State Forest

Situated in Union County, this state forest has over 5,000 acres and was established to set aside lands for growing timber needed to produce forest products and provide outdoor recreation. Activities include camping, dog training, equestrian trails, fishing, hiking trails, hunting, and metal detecting.

Find more information online here!

Cache River State Natural Area

In southernmost Illinois with a floodplain carved long ago by glacial floodwater of the Ohio River, are massive cypress trees and some of the highest quality aquatic and terrestrial natural communities remaining in Illinois. Activities at this park include boating, canoe trails, fishing, hiking trails, and hunting.

Find more information online here!

Fort Defiance State Park

On Cairo Point, the southernmost tip of Illinois is in between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Fort Defiance is also the lowest point in Illinois at 279 feet in elevation. It is considered as the 10th most amazing confluences in the world according to World Geography. Activities include fishing and picnicking.

Find more information online here!

Summer Fun Tips: Healthy Hiking Snacks
According to the KOA, here are 8 healthy snacks you can bring on your next hiking trip to fuel your body and keep moving:

• Peanut butter and bananas
• Beef jerky
• Tuna and Goldfish
• Fresh or dried fruit
• Granola
• Veggies
• Nuts and seeds
• Trail mix

Rep Stephens


Lifelong resident and supporter of the 20th District, Representative Bradley A. Stephens was sworn in on June 29, 2019.

Stephens concurrently serves as the CEO of one of the most successful municipalities in the nation, Rosemont, Illinois. Prior to becoming mayor, Brad Stephens served the Village of Rosemont as a member of its Board of Trustees for 18 years.