Located 10 miles northeast of Rockford, Rock Cut State Park is a 3,100-acre recreation area that encompasses two natural grasslands, a natural creek area, a nature preserve and 162-acre Pierce Lake. The area was designated a state park in 1957 as a way of preserving a local polititian’s favorite fishing hole. Prior to this, the park and wider area has a long history of Native American residence, including the Mascouten, the Winnegabo, and the Chippewa. With abundant water and preserved natural areas, the park now supports a thriving habitat for local birds, fish and wildlife. And with year-round camping and outdoor activities, you can experience the many seasonal sides the park has to offer. The campground at Rock Cut provides 270 sites that can accommodate tent campers, as well as RV and trailer campers up to 40 feet. Back-in sites are mostly grassy and equipped with picnic tables, cooking grills and electrical hookups. The campground provides water faucets, restrooms, showers, and a dump station; the water and dump station are not available November through April. One of the park’s multiuse trails runs right through the campground, and provides access to the larger trail network. Most of the campground’s facilities are ADA accessible. Dogs are permitted in the park, but must remain leashed; alcohol is not permitted. For recreating in temperate seasons, more than 40 miles of hiking, cycling and equestrian trails allow you to explore the park’s woodlands and prairies. These are ideal ways to observe some of the local birds, animals, and wildflowers. For fun on the water, paddle around in a canoe or kayak, take a dip at Olsen Beach, or go fishing for some of the lake’s largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, pike and walleye. Several picnic areas throughout the park are ideal for group or family gatherings. In the snowy season, many of the park’s trails are open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, with gear rentals available. For more family fun in the area, check out the nearby Volcano Falls Adventure Park.