Arranged Alphabetically. Stared locations are great for photography!
AIRPLANE PARK has many pavilions, lots of climbing, handicapped accessible areas, large restrooms, water fountains, tennis courts, a skate rink, a soccer field, a gaga ball area, three playgrounds, restrooms, and a real airplane displayed at the front of the park. One of the large playgrounds is for younger children and the second is for older. One of the larger parks in Edwardsville IL. Well shaded parks Edwardsville il.
Don't Miss: The nature themed climbing area.
Great For: Playing with any age!
Drawbacks: Dogs are not allowed.
Trails: Runs next to a large trail. Many people park here to get to the trail.
ARLINGTON WETLANDS contains the restored wetlands where the Mississippi River once flowed. The path splits into different directions, but all the routes are short, flat, and looped. You can cross the wetlands on a floating boardwalk surrounded by water lilies and try and catch a glimpse of fish, turtles, or a frog. Be sure to read the informational placards posted along the boardwalk. Venture to the other end of the boardwalk to continue your hike through Arlington Wetland’s nature trail. Native prairie grasses, wildflowers, and trees enclose the natural-surface pathway.
Don't Miss: The water lilies
Great For: Peace & quiet
Drawbacks: Not a great deal of shade.
Trails: Paved trails.
BELK PARK is a 234-acre park with an 18-Hole Championship Golf Course, a lake for fishing, a clubhouse, picnic areas, a ball field, three playgrounds, restrooms, shelters, woodland, and open space.
Don't Miss: The woods.
Great For: A hike with family and pets.
Drawbacks: Not a great deal of wildlife.
Trails: A one mile paved walkway around a lake that is stroller and pet friendly with benches to sit near the water.
BETHALTO ARBORETUM winds through the Bethalto Arboretum, about a half-mile, shaded stroll through stands of oak, maple and over 80 other tree species. This 2.5 acres has wide paved flat paths with lots of shade. The park contains more than 150 species of trees and most are labeled. This location is also next to the Bethalto Splash Pad, baseball fields, skate park, and small playground. A fitness path, war memorial, and perennial garden are located on the grounds. The arboretum was created in 1966, built on an abandoned railbed. An extension in 2020 continued the trail into Bethalto Park/ Central Park, terminating at Prairie Street. There larger vision is to continue to build on the old railroad corridor, extending it east to Alton.
Don't Miss: The FREE splash pad and FREE Christmas stroll.
Great For: A day outside with a short walk, the playground, and a nice splash pad.
Drawbacks: Parking can be crowded during events.
Trails: Wide paved flat paths with lots of shade
CAHOKIA MOUNDS HISTORIC SITE has 154 steps to the top! Can you make it up? Monks Mound is the largest Earth Work in North America. Cahokia Mounds has a great deal to offer as the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city and a UNESCO site. The museum is open Thurs–Sun 9-5. Grounds are open dawn- dusk. Suggested donation for the interpretive center is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students, and $15 for families. Leashed dogs are welcome outdoors.
Don't Miss: The climb up Monks Mound.
Great For: An interesting walk on a cool day.
Drawbacks: Some hills and no shade on many paths.
Trails: Wide paved paths with varying amounts of shade.
DROST PARK has lots of shade trees, several pavilions, a boat ramp, a soccer field, barbecue grills, picnic tables, benches, a community garden, a workout area, playgrounds, drinking fountains, restrooms, and a seven-acre lake with fish, turtles, and ducks. Also has 2 playgrounds for younger and older kids. Pet friendly.
Don't Miss: The seven acre lake.
Great For: Watching animals.
Drawbacks: Some hills and no shade on many paths.
Trails: About three miles of paved trails connect to the regional trail system via the MCT Schoolhouse Trail.
*GARDENS AT SIUE is a botanical garden featuring a half-mile paved walking path with lots of shade, a pergola, a wooden bridge, sculptures, and native trees. Butterfly, English cottage, wind sculpture, prairie, and Japanese themed gardens. A nice pond with benches. A great place for photos. Pet friendly.
Don't Miss: The bridges over the train tracks and beautiful art.
Great For: A relaxing place to explore art with lots of room to play.
Drawbacks: Can get crowded on beautiful weekends.
Trails: A variety of well labeled trails that are mostly paved with lots of shade, educational placards, and beautiful sites.
has 120-acres with playgrounds, 2 ponds with fish and frogs, concession stands, restrooms, rentable pavilions, a rentable gazebo, soccer fields and 3 miles of walking trails with shade trees. There are picnic tables under trees by a water fountain. Home to the Great Godfrey Corn Maze. Pet friendly. Little Free Library. They also have a nice splash pad! Open from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM with concessions from 11:00-5:00 (weather depending)! We now offer birthday party private rentals as well! Give our office a call for more information at 618-466-1483.
Don't Miss: Relaxing views by the lake.
Great For: A lot to see without having to drive.
Drawbacks: Some litter.
Trails: Wide paved paths with lots of shade.
A park with restrooms, playgrounds, lighted fields, soccer fields, a football field, a basketball court, and a skate park are all at Glk. Also has paved stroller-friendly walking trails with sculptures, plants, and flowers. Trails do not have much shade. Park is next to Korte Center. Has fenced in dog park with shade.
Don't Miss: The Highland Garden Club's beautifully decorated area. (pictured above)
Great For: A place near everything.
Drawbacks: Playground does not have a great deal of newer features.
GORDON MOORE PARK is a 704 acre park with tennis courts, a lake for fishing, ball diamonds, soccer fields, football fields, a 27 hole golf course, oriental garden, picnic area, nature trail, and rose garden. Also has restrooms, an interactive fountain, several playgrounds for all ages, a rose garden, bell tower, and oriental garden.
Don't Miss: The oriental garden.
Great For: Bringing a book or sketch pad and relaxing.
Drawbacks: Difficult to meet a group. Be sure to give careful directions on which playground or field.
Trails: Paved trails with beautiful views.
has three different playgrounds fenced in to one larger play area. Playgrounds have a variety of slides, climbers, and aparatus. Between playgrounds, there is an open area for other play. Smaller children's playground in a seperate fenced in area within the larger fence. Lots of trees and benches.
Don't Miss: The Highland Community pool is right across the street.
Great For: A variety of playgrounds for all ages.
Drawbacks: Closed to public during school hours.
Trails: No trails.
HOMER ADAMS PARK
has three rentable shelters, a restroom facility, playground, and a demonstration garden provided by the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners program. I was impressed by the creative playscape that allowed my kids to climb and try however they were comfortable.
Don't Miss: The creative playscape.
Great For: A change of pace in a calmer place.
Drawbacks: A smaller park.
Trails: No trails.
5.8 acres of land within the local historic district. The small park features a bandstand gazebo, a picnic pavilion, three children's playground areas, turtles, geese, ducks, restrooms, a lighted fountain, a waterfall, and a two-acre fishing lake. There is plenty of trees and shade and great fishing. Pet Friendly.
Don't Miss: The geese, ducks, turtles, and great fishing.
Great For: A quiet day outside.
Drawbacks: A good deal of geese' poop.
Trails: There is a sidewalk around the lake that closely borders the road at some points.
LEON CORLEW PARK has a splash pad, workout area, large pavilions, bathrooms, barbecue grills, a concessions area, large playground, and younger children's playground. The splash pad has features for young and older kids, and shaded benches.
Don't Miss: The huge dumping bucket.
Great For: Hot days with various ages.
Drawbacks: Slides are VERY slippery when wet.
Trails: There is a short paved path around the splash pad and playground with some workout gear.
Several acre park with small playground in between baseball fields, basketball courts, swings, pavilions, a large sledding hill, barbecue grills, a stroller friendly walking path, a walking/biking trail, restrooms, and red caboose at entrance. Red Caboose is generally not open. Convienently located next to Glen Carbon Library. Great for sledding.
Don't Miss: The beautiful bridges over the creek.
Great For: A break from the library with a story walk along the way.
Drawbacks: Caboose is only open for special occasions, so plan ahead!
Trails: Nickel Plate Trail, part of Madison County's extensive system of bike trails, runs along the west edge of the park. It is paved.
has approximately 300 acres located along the bluffs of the Mississippi River with educational programming, a large playground, and ample parking. Rock Trail has a creek that is around 2-4 feet deep. Trails are open 8- 8pm, Tues.- Sun.
Don't Miss: Fantastic views of the Mississippi River.
Great For: An opportunity to connect with nature.
Drawbacks: Closed Mondays. Restroom are closed at 4pm on weekdays and on weekends. NOT pet friendly. Closes each year for Trail maintanence.
Trails: 4 unpaved well marked trails. If using stroller, rubber tires necessary. Rock Trail has a steep hill.
Amazing playground designed to remove barriers so ALL children can play side by side with their peers and families. Includes a glider, slides, musical elements, wheelchair-accessible teeter totter, lots of climbing equipment, and unique swings. There is also a dog park with obstacles, a veteran memorial, and restrooms.
Don't Miss: The zip lines! A rope zip line and a seated zip line!
Great For: A playground that makes the grownups want to play.
Drawbacks: Not a great deal of nature or shade.
Trails: A stroller friendly walking trail with some shade.
runs along the shore of a lake. Has a frisbee golf course, (small) climbing wall, archery range, man made waterfall/creek area, restrooms, ponds, sand volleyball court, playground, picnic shelters, fishing, and a boat ramp. Leashed pets are welcome.
Don't Miss: The autumn leaves.
Great For: A quiet walk in the woods.
Drawbacks: Fishing Lines are often discarded in water, local ordinance doesn't allow for swimming.
Trails: A 4+ mile wooded trail that is not stroller friendly.
TRI-TOWNSHIP PARK has a large pond with fish, ducks, and swans. Also has 4 playgrounds. Younger kids may enjoy the toddler sized playground on the south side of the lake while older kids may prefer the playground north of the lake or next to the skate park. Also has fishing, a pedestrian bridge, shaded benches, covered picnic areas, BBQ grills, paved stroller friendly walking trails, baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, sand volleyball, a gaga ball area, frisbee golf, a remote control car park, restrooms, and a skate park.
Don't Miss: The adorable little zoo near the playground.
Great For: A little something for all ages.
Drawbacks: Parking can get difficult when sports are in season and some parks have very little shade.
Trails: Small trails around the site.
TREEHOUSE WILDLIFE CENTER is a place for sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife. Open to the public 365 days a year. Visitors view animals for FREE. Offers hands-on learning as well as an in-depth discussion to meet the needs of the group. Not Pet Friendly for the health and safety of on site wildlife. Open 10am-4pm, Fridays-Sundays.
Don't Miss: Guided tours with fantastic guides.
Great For: An educational time with wildlife.
Drawbacks: No pets allowed. (To protect injured animals.)
Trails: Some small trails around the site.
WATERSHED NATURE CENTER
is a 40+ acre outdoor learning center with stroller friendly paved trails, dirt trails, elevated walks over wetlands, observation towers, an observation blind, lakes, prairies, forest, and an interpretive welcome center. Pet friendly.
Don't Miss: The FREE discovery days.
Great For: A day exploring the wilderness.
Drawbacks: Can get muddy, but who doesn't LOVE a little mud?
Trails: Paved with smaller and bigger loops.
is a 30 acre farm with rest rooms, picnic shelters, a large garden, four hiking trails. Trails are not stroller friendly. There is an intricate play area with ride on toys, a wheel chair accessible swing, and kids' wheelbarrows. Also has cows, goats, ponies, bunnies, chickens, tractors, and a farm house.
Don't Miss: The animals and free range quail.
Great For: Those who love playgrounds, animals, or trails.
Drawbacks: Sometimes rented by larger parties.
Trails: Great trails with fun hidden gems like a lending library, creeks, and a low ropes course.
Emmenneger Park is a little of everything I love in the outdoors. There is a shallow creek which my kids can play in without me having to be hyper vigilant, a rope swing, quiet trails, nice views, and a rocky beach. If you walk a bit down the trail, there are some spectacular views and access to the much deeper river. Be careful on the river, water moves fast.
Don't Miss: The rope swing!
Great For: Peace, quiet, adventure, & views.
Drawbacks: Longer Drive.
Trails: Great trails with beautiful views and tons to discover.
Mastodon State Historic Site
has a long shallow creek with many shady wading areas. To get to the creek, park near the playground go past the bathrooms and across the bridge! The creek is ideal for some splashing around. It can have a crowd on weekends and holidays, but there is usually enough time to spread out. Pet Friendly.
Don't Miss: Finding crayfish, snakes, and turtles!
Great For: A picnic in nature.
Drawbacks: No place to sit at the creek. Bring your own chairs. There are deep areas of the creek, so keep an eye on kids.
Trails: Great trails with beautiful views and tons to discover.
Nestled in the countryside just off Highway DD. The 57-acre park offers the area's first adventure playground. Kids can climb an obstacle course with netting, swings, rock walls, and much more. There is a creek with a movable damn and stepping stones. There are also miles of paved and natural paths.
Don't Miss: The nets in the middle of the park!
Great For: All ages on any kind of day!
Drawbacks: Watch out for grass burns if rolling down the hill.
Trails: No time for trails! This playground is incredible!
Queeny Park Playground The park's main feature is a pyramid made of stone and concrete. There are tunnels, mountains, and slides. The ground cover is pea gravel, so make sure to have closed toe shoes. There is also not a great deal of shade. An overcast day is a perfect fit for this playground. Around the playground, you can find 564 acres of parkland with a huge dog-park.
Don't Miss: The pyramid!
Great For: A great fit for lower elementary aged children. (Young children may try to eat pea gravel ground cover. My 3 year old took a bit to warm up, but loved it.)
Drawbacks: Watch out for runners since there is a lot of roads and places to get lost.
Trails: Lots of great trails and sites in this area! Many are paved but hilly and some had steps.
Suson Animal Park
A large working Animal Farm with horses, cows, geese, and more. Nearby is a nice playground with creative pieces. It is small and often crowded with very little shade. There are lakes for fishing, year-Round Restroom, and Reservable Shelters. It was a nice place for our kids to see and pet animals while learning about a farm.
Don't Miss: Feeding the animals!
Great For: Younger kids or animal lovers.
Drawbacks: Feed costs quarters.
Trails: Paved trails and nearby parking.