Franklin Creek Grist Mill is the only true water-powered operating grist mill in Illinois and was built by volunteers. Upper floors feature wood paneling from 43 different species of trees and exhibits from other natural areas. The Mill is available for rent for meetings and special events.
The Seasons of Change Trail is approximately 1 mile long and will take one hour to complete. This loop trail starts and returns to the Grist Mill parking lot. Although no technically rated, it would be considered easy.
Lowell Park Trail-way runs from Washington Avenue to Historic Lowell Park in Dixon, Illinois. It is a 3.5 mile paved multipurpose trail enjoyed year round by many.
Franklin Creek State Natural Area is located in Lee County, northwest of the village of Franklin Grove and east of Dixon just north of IL Rt. 38. Beautiful Franklin Creek flows throughout the 882-acre park. Several large natural springs, hardwood forests, bedrock outcroppings and a large variety of flora and fauna comprise a pristine ecosystem.
The John Husar Memorial Trail was created in memory of John Husar who was known to many through his poignant and passionate outdoor sports writing for the Chicago Tribune. He believed that everyone should have access to wilderness, soaking in the wonders of the natural world and experiencing its simplicity and mystery.
Hiking: Four and one-half miles of hiking trails are marked and maintained at the park. All trail markers are numbered and clearly shown on the park map to help you follow the trails. The Mill Springs Handicapped Trail is a unique, concrete-surfaced trail suitable for people of all mobility levels. The trail leads to the beautiful Mill Spring and possesses an easy rating. All other trails possess a medium difficulty rating. Pioneer Pass is highly recommended to see the park’s unique, natural beauty. The three creek crossings on Pioneer Pass are wet at this time pending the construction of footbridges.