Park has an area 176 acres (71 ha) of property that is at the core of the current park, but after the death of owner it was renamed, and the land of 1,938 acres (784 ha) was added to the growing the grass. It centered on a stream that flows from Matthiessen Lake to the Vermilion River. You will see five miles of marked hiking trails, in addition to nine miles of mountain biking and equestrian trails. The fresh and damp canyons in this state park provide an ideal habitat for many species of mosses, liverworts, and ferns where on top of the bluffs that form the canyons can be found white oak trees, red cedar, and black oak which thrive in the sandy soil. Frogs, toads, and salamanders live on these canyon floors. You might witness beautiful waterfalls, tall sandstone bluffs, paths that tunnel through densely wooded forest, and best of all, a trail that runs right along and often through the river that formed it all. After the waterfall, you will descend into the upper dells via another wooden stairway by crossing the upper dells require some creative footwork, at least when the water is high, for the reason that the path crosses the river a couple of times.
Hiking in Matthiessen State Park:
For reaching to the base of the falls, go left, or cross the bridge and go left. Another bridge is about 1/4 mile downstream of the falls, and an impressive concrete stairway will take you down into the gorge. You might be rock-hopping across the stream at one point. The stream has whittled with an impressive amphitheater at the base of the falls. You will see that the main drop of the falls is above 30 feet. There is a somewhat unsightly fence above the falls to prevent people on the upper dell trail from trying to get to the brink of the falls and accidentally falling into the gorge.
Above the falls, a trail works its way through the gorge. They have made small circular cement platforms instead of bridges there are that you can use to hop across the stream. On your way, you will pass the little Devil's Bathtub where at the head of the canyon is an old dam and Lake Falls.
The upper dells are extended from the base of a waterfall to the top of a second one. You'll leave the upper dells via a wooden staircase. Be sure to take in the view of the lower dells from the bridge over the second waterfall.
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