Council Overhang is a one of a kind feature in the park. Council Overhang is an alcove in the Ottawa Canyon wall, and many archaeological studies of the site have shown that local Native tribes used this spot for many different tribal functions and ceremonies. For the modern visitor to the area, Council Overhang is a place of wonder and beauty. This giant room in the stone dwarfs even our tallest guests. This feature is a must visit in the park.
Length from the Visitors Center: 4 miles
Difficulty: From the visitor’s center, this is a difficult hike. Many staircases and many different trail surfaces are the order of the day here, as is a difficult climb down and up a hill, as well as a crossing of Route 71. From the council overhang parking lot, however, it’s much closer and much fewer stairs to get here. This hike is roughly a .2 mile round trip from the parking lot.
Hiking from the Council Overhang lot is recommended for the casual visitor, whereas the hike from the visitor center is suggested for the hearty adventurer. Any hiker visiting this canyon system should prepare for muddy trails after a rainfall or during the winter and spring.
Parking: Council Overhang – Kaskaskia Canyon – Ottawa Canyon lot.
Top View: No
Interior Canyon View: No
Flora and Fauna: A quiet place to hike in the winter and spring. Some visitors have been lucky enough to spot young owlets fledging from the nest while others have come across wild turkeys and white tailed deer while hearing red bellied woodpeckers and louisiana waterthrushes.