Activities at Buffalo Rock
Titled "Effigy Tumuli" in tribute to the Native American burial grounds that inspired it, this unique "earth art" depicts five sculptures native to the Illinois River. The Effigy Tumuli was the vision of artist Michael Heizer, who created the sculptures of a snake, turtle, catfish, frog and a water strider. To better appreciate and understand the sculptures, it is best to look first from a distance and then walk around on top of them.
The Buffalo Rock State Park picnic areas that are shaded by mature oak, hickory and walnut trees provide the perfect setting for a family picnic or special outdoor occasion. Picnic tables and cooking grills are provided. The site has two shelters with drinking water, and restroom facilities are located near both. The larger of the two shelters has a large stone fireplace and may be reserved. The smaller shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A playground area is located by the large shelter and a baseball diamond is near the center of the park. A great game of horseshoes also can be enjoyed during your visit.
Two American bison call Buffalo Rock home. Their pen and grazing area is located across from the baseball diamond and these magnificent native mammals can be seen daily.
The Buffalo Rock State Park River Bluff Trail offers a walk high above the Illinois River, with two observation decks providing spectacular views of the Illinois River. The Woodland Trail provides an opportunity to examine and appreciate the trees, plants and wildlife prospering in the park.
I&M Canal State Trail Access
Across the road from Buffalo Rock State Park is the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail Buffalo Rock Access area, providing parking for approximately seven vehicles. Water and restroom facilities are not available at the trail parking lot/access area, but can be found at the park.
Three primitive camping areas exist along the trail between Buffalo Rock and Utica for open camping. Each primitive campsite has a fire ring (no water or restroom facilities are available). Sites are accessible by walk-in or bike-in only; no vehicular access is allowed. One of the camping areas designed for youth camping has a shelter with a fireplace. Campsites cannot be reserved in advance at this site.