Illinois is full of historical sites and landmarks dating back hundreds of years. Obviously, there is a lot of history in Chicago, there are the childhood homes of former United States presidents, and a lot of natural history as well. Did you know there are preserved villages dating back to the middle ages and even earlier in Illinois?

National Park Servie
National Park Service

Before you learn about the abandoned village dating back to the 1350s, have you ever heard of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site? It's in Collinsville, Illinois, and was where the city of Cahokia was located as early as 700 A.D. It is believed to be the biggest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico, with 10,000-20,000 people during its existence, according to UNESCO.

There are more than 120 mounds on site including a museum with many preserved artifacts. It's definitely worth checking out if you're near the area, which isn't far from St. Louis.

Another historic area worth checking out is Millstone Bluff inside Shawnee National Forest.

Shawnee Forest Bigfoot via Facebook
Shawnee Forest Bigfoot via Facebook

Historians believe Millstone Bluff existed as a small village sometime between the 1350s and 1500 A.D. The land was home to around 25 homes, according to Only In Your State. What makes this area so unique are the inscriptions on the rocks throughout the land. If you look closely you can still see some of the carvings, which are their recorded history and markings related to the natives' religion.

Shawnee Forst
Shawnee National Forst

This area is open to the public via the Shawnee National Forest. The mulch-pathed trail isn't a terribly long hike either, at about three-quarters of a mile in length. Learn more about it here.

[h/t Only In Your State]

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