Rocky Glen

To our Supporters, Friends and Followers:

The Friends of Rocky Glen are considering expanding the conservation and protection vision and mission of Rocky Glen to include approximately ten miles of the Kickapoo Creek Watershed.  The Board meets on March 19, 2021 at 7 pm central time via zoom to discuss and vote on adopting this expansion. If you would like to attend the meeting, please email and we will send you a link to join.

As the popularity of Facebook increased, we created a Facebook page where you can find work day events and more photos since 2014 posted.  Follow and like us here

The Grand Opening of Rocky Glen Park was celebrated on October 20, 2018.  The Peoria Park District owns and manages the park as part of their portfolio of recreation areas.  Thanks to all who have made this dream come true!

Friends of Rocky Glen welcomes guided tours by arrangement as well as indoor talks.  Please contact

How Rocky Glen Became a Park

1880s       Coal miners from local mines meet secretly to organize for better working conditions and wages.  The property is owned by George Vicary.  The oldest carved date in the Rocky Glen sandstone walls is 1887.

1900s      Rocky Glen becomes a popular picnic and hiking area.  Thanks to Wendy Stevens and Marilyn Voss Leyland for photos!

1921         Coal mining stops at Rocky Glen.   Take a look at the truck that used to haul coal from Rocky Glen.

1935         Horse Shoe Bottoms, a novel by Tom Tippett, is published.  Tippett, a local coal miner and union activist, describes Kickapoo Creek coal mining and union organizing, mentioning Rocky Glen as the first location for secret meetings.

 1940s       Friendly on-site tenant supervises visitors.  Children from Peoria West Bluff and South Side hike to Rocky Glen.  Letters in the newspaper suggest the Peoria Park Board should become the owner.

1954         Harold Connaughton purchases the property from George Vicary.  His son, Jim, sells Rocky Glen for public use 58 years later (2012).

1970s       Peoria Park District buys 55 acres of adjoining property.

 2010        The Friends of Rocky Glen (FORG), a non-profit organization, is formed.  With permission from Jim Connaughton, FORG leads monthly hikes and fundraises to build public support to preserve Rocky Glen.

 2012        The City of Peoria purchases Rocky Glen from Jim Connaughton.

2013        The City of Peoria transfers ownership to the Peoria Park District.  Rocky Glen becomes open to the public from dawn to dusk.

2017         A parking lot is built, built in part with FORG donations.  Design and construction of the hiking trail begins.

2017         Horseshoe Bottoms Committee is established in the spring.  There are 200 acres of cornfield and wooded hillsides directly east of Rocky Glen Park and has the potential to expand the public recreation and natural area.  The committee is meeting on a regular basis and is organizing monthly hikes, restoration work days, and fundraisers. Check out the Friends of Horseshoe Bottoms Facebook Page to stay up to date with events.  Horseshoe Bottoms events are also shared to the Friends of Rocky Glen Facebook Page

2018         October 20 Grand Opening