Illinois is home to some of the best state parks in the nation, but there is one you may not know of that is a hidden gem in the state.

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Red Hills State Park located in the southeastern part of Illinois is known for its hiking trails, wildflower fields, and some of the best fishing spots. Unlike the major state parks in Illinois like Starved Rock, Matthiessen, and Giant City, Red Hills is small but has a 40-acre lake that has miles of beautiful atmosphere all around it.

There are also a ton of activities you can do besides hiking and fishing, There is camping, skiing, equestrain trails, and more. The park is described as being,

beautiful foliage and soothing breezes in the spring...picnicking, camping, hiking, boating and fishing in the summer...appreciating the brilliant hues of autumn's colorful plumage...or ice skating and ice fishing in the brisk, blue winter

The best part, the park offers different activities all year long with the changing of the seasons the park offers so much to its visitors. I have never heard of Red Hills and I think it's because the people that have wanted to keep it a secret so that not too many people overtake the beauty of the park. I totally get that. When you want to go for a walk or horse ride you don't have thousands of people in the way.

Well, the secret might be out with this article. If you find yourself in the southern part of Illinois I would definitely put Red Hills State Park on your must-see list.

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Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

Gallery Credit: Alexander Raeburn

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