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“Fun hiking” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rock Cut State Park

Rock Cut State Park
7223 West Lane Road, Loves Park, IL 61011
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Ranked #1 of 13 Attractions in Loves Park
Type: State Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Cross-country skiing
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Attraction details
Owner description: Scenic park of 3,092 acres that offers many recreational options such as camping, hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Fun hiking”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

My husband and I spent a couple hours hiking around the lake.

First, the google map directions put us west of the entrance where there is nothing (we reported the direction issue to google). There are signs pointing towards the entrance... follow the signs.

The signage on where trails are located are nonexistent while driving around the park. There are signs for camping, swimming, and other places. There are occasional maps of the park located at the entrance and each 'area' (picnic areas, beach area, entrance, etc). We drove first towards the beach.. there did not appear to be a trail head in this area so we drove back and went the other direction towards the picnic and concession areas then stopped at the first picnic area where we found a map and confirmed there was a trailhead somewhere near us.

The trails are not marked well. We looked for openings around the tree edges and found our trails - no markers to indicate the trailheads. There were occasional markers on the trails with a color and a symbol of the acceptable use for the trail (i.e. hiker image, bike image, horse image). The trails we were on were mostly dirt and wide enough for 2 people (these are trails!) with the occasional areas that are barely walked over and wide enough for 1 person or that widen out with gravel. The trails we walked were mostly easy and scenic.

We while hiking we stopped at the concession building and got a chocolate shake & an iced coffee. The coffee was a bit too sweet & the shake was huge. The lady that was working there when we stopped was really nice!

My husband used the bathroom/outhouse and reported the conditions to be okay. Considering the temps were in the 90s, 'okay' is good for an outhouse.

The lake was large and there were a lot of people out on boats & rentals. The rentals were listed as $10 - $15 per hour. We will probably go back for at some point to camp, fish, swim, and rent a kayak.

Recommendation: bug spray & sunscreen.

Visited August 2013
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Rockford, Illinois
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“A huge state park with lots to offer!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

This place is a gem right inside Rockford. Easiest entrance is to take Harlem road east about 3 miles (across the I-90 tollway) and turn left at the big entrance. They have signs inside the park letting you know which way to go to get to places inside. We like parking at the Cafe parking lot, which by the way has a great menu (we do smoothies and the Veggie Ciabatta Sandwich). You can rent canoes, paddleboats, motor boats for fishing, kayaks by the hour at the cafe as well.

We tried to hike the Lone Rock Trail and fell off the beaten path and felt a bit lost. It would help if they would just have a few signs here and there saying 'Do you want to stay on the Lone Rock Trail? Go THIS way.' Because there are really so many paths coming off of it, it became hard to know if we were still on the main trail (which we came to find out we were not).

It's fun going on a weekend when there are lots of people out on the lake, the cafe has people in it, and while hiking every once in a while it's nice to see someone too. They do have bathrooms, they are the port-a-potty type inside a small building - no sinks! Take your own hand sanitizer.

We will definitely start going to Rock Cut more often after this fun trip. It would also be great for cycling as they have many bike paths as well.

Here is a link to the park map: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r1/Graphics/RCC/rock%20cut%20map%20web%208.5x11.pdf

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sycamore, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Rock Cut Cabin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Renting this cabin, at an unbelievable price, was one of the best fishing experiences my grandsons and I have had. No potty or running water in cabin, but a pump and outhouses very close by in easy walking distance. Quiet and beautiful. The minute I got home I made reservations for next month! Polite and friendly park personnel really put a cherry on this trip. Thanks Rock Cut for saving this park from being destroyed like so many others.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
332 reviews 332 reviews
227 attraction reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
608 helpful votes 608 helpful votes
“Massive state park with 2 lakes!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

PROS: great place for family outings and picnics; plenty of parking and picnic tables as well as grilling stations; Pierce lake for fishing and boating while Olson Lake for swimming; on 1 picnic we had with family members,we actually witnessed a great blue heron catch fish with it's beak and swallow it in 1 gulp! That was pretty exciting for the kids to watch!

CONS: none.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockford, Illinois, United States
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Olsen Beach at Rock Cut Park”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

This is a nice small beach in Rock Cut Pk. During the week, there is not a lot of people who go there. The weekends are more busy. The water is calm, it is not very clear but its a lake, what would you expect. The fastest way to the beach, come into RCP off of Harlem Rd and go straight. There are signs to tell you were things are at.
You do have to pay to get in $3 pp, $2 for under 48in. There are life jackets there, free. And you can rent small patal boats.
The sand is nice.
They open at 12p to 7p
You can bring food and drinks. They only sell ice cream. And there is a pop machine there too. The restrooms are ok, small, no showers. There is an outside shower, to get the sand off. I wish the restrooms were more up to date and had showers in them.
There is a life gaurd on duty.
Lots of parking.
There is pinic areas on the grass areas off the beach. There are a couple of small grills.
This beach is very low key and not much to it but I do like taking my 3 kids there. They love the sand and the water. And they are near by at all times.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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