2-Day Galena Getaway

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Getaway to Galena, IL

Apple River Canyon

Day 1

10:15 am: Hike Apple River Canyon In this charming canyon, icefalls cascade from cliffs along the picturesque Apple River. Once the bottom of a vast inland sea that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, this area was chiseled into cliffs and canyons by the Apple River. Our 3-mile hike winds along the Apple River, through hardwood and pine forests, along animal trails, and beside gorgeous cliff-top views of the canyon far below. We’ll also check out a favorite eagle roosting spot. A bit of history... The town of Millville once flourished here. Named after two sawmills, Millville thrived as a stop on the Galena-to-Chicago stagecoach route until 1854 when the Illinois Central Railroad built its Freeport to Galena four miles north of town. In 1892, a devastating flood washed out the dam, swept away many buildings, and forever drove out the townspeople.

1:45 pm: Check into the DeSoto House Hotel After a great hike, check into our historic hotel in the heart of downtown Galena. The DeSoto House is Illinois’ oldest operating hotel, where Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, and William Jennings Bryan stayed. This warm and charming 1855 landmark also served as the presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. Graciously decorated Victorian rooms provide modern bathrooms, televisions, and other conveniences. The Courtyard Restaurant is a lovely 4-story atrium serving breakfast and lunch daily. (Your lodging is included in the trip cost.)

Historic Galena (Courtesy of galena.org)

2 pm: Explore Downtown Galena Step out of our hotel and into the center of this charming town on the banks of the Galena River. You’ll love its 19th century mansions, one-of-a-kind shops, warm ambience, local wineries, and eateries.

Or Hike with the guides along the Galena River.

6:00 pm: Dine at Fried Green Tomatoes You’ll love this locally famous restaurant’s great food and fun ambience. It’s housed in the building where Ulysses S. Grant worked in the 1860s, helping his father and brothers with the family leather business.

Relase after Dinner in your comfy room, or enjoy one another’s company in the hotel’s common areas.

 

Day 2

Bald Eagle

9 am: Watch Eagles We’ll visit a dam that is popular with wintering eagles; the dam’s churning waters keep the river from freezing and stun fish as they flow through it - providing relatively easy-picking for eagles’ primary food source. We’ll also hike at Eagle Point Park, described as one of the Midwest’s most outstanding parks, with great vistas of the Mississippi and "birds’ eye" views of eagles.

Horseshoe Bluff,
overlooking the mighty Mississippi

10 am: Hike Mines of Spain Horseshoe Bluff Nestled along the Mississippi River, this gorgeous 1.5-mile trail takes us along beaver lodgers and through towering canyons of Ordovician rock. This is a favorite hike!

Catfish Creek

11:30 am: Enjoy Overlooks Hike 1 mile to a beautiful bluff overlooking the Mississippi and to the grave-site monuments of Julien Dubuque, Iowa’s first European settler, and his Mesquakie friend and father-in-law, Chief Peosta.

1 pm: Optional: Explore Catfish Creek Our optional 2-mile hike hugs the banks of pretty Catfish Creek, where backwaters of the Mississippi flow. We’ll also follow the upper trail through forests of white birch and 200-year-old oaks. The village of the Mesquakie (Fox) Indians was located at the mouth of Catfish Creek; there they traded furs with French voyagers and mined lead in the countryside. Bring a sack lunch to eat in your car before this hike.

Galena countryside sunset

Head home refreshed and restored.

 

Registration/Cost

Cost covers:
  • Overnight stay at the DeSoto House Hotel (Double- occupancy; we’ll reserve your room.*)
  • 5 guided hikes
  • 2 Trailbound guides throughout your stay
  • Eagle-watching
  • Online photos of our getaway
  • Area info, driving directions, and more
*Private room is additional.

Testimonials:

“ Our overnight trip to Galena was the best winter hiking experienced I’ve ever had. The beauty in the geologic formations, visible without the foliar cover of summer, was amazing. I love how informed you are about the different winter homes of wildlife we find. Last but not least, I loved the women we hiked with. So many different stories. So many belly laughs. So much good fun. Thank you. ” -Nell

“ Thanks again for a great weekend in Galena. That trip is a keeper! ” -Bogie

“ Galena was great. The trip/trail is so well managed… You’re in good hands with "Scout." ” -Fluffy

“ I am still flying high after last week. I have a slide show of beautiful scenery as my desktop screensaver and lots of oohs and ahhs from fellow staff members. I enjoyed the opportunity to hike somewhere new and to have the camaraderie of so many awesome women from so many walks of life who love the outdoors as much as I do. ” -She Who Must Be Entertained

“ This trip was great all the way around. You introduced me to places in my own backyard. I loved the peaceful winter setting and the way you can see through the woods… ” -Swiftriver

“ Thanks again for a spectacular weekend. I always feel so "filled up" after your trips … This is such a gift from God. ” -Winter Willow

“ I met truly ALL great women. Jan and I love to have a reason to do "our sister thing" once in a while and thankful our encouraging husbands like to see us have fun together. I am so thankful Trailbound is in my life and gets me "going." ” -Tracker

“ We loved the locale and your selection of hotel and sites to visit … and appreciate the fantastic reception by your other hikers. We’re already talking about our next "adventure." ” -Julibell

“I had such a wonderful time & am soooo glad I went. Thank YOU! ” -Hummingbird

“Galena was alot of fun...loved the eagle sighting! ” -Turtle

“Thanks! The photos you posted are spectacular; the close-up of the eagle takes my breath away. It was a great trip, everything I expected it to be. ” -Skigal

“Thanks again for all you do. Everything is always so well planned and laid out, and the hikes were wonderful, as are the ladies and the scenery. A truly great time. ” -Jingles

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Galena Getaway. Our group of women, the hiking, the scenery, dinner -- all just perfect. I appreciate all the time & research you put in to this. I thought I knew the area, but learned so much more. It was fun rereading your history of the area. ” -Diane

“Thank you again for putting together another 5-star adventure. I would not be able to do these fun trips or meet the great ladies who I’ve met if it were not for Trailbound Trips. ” -Cabin Girl