March 10th Update: Spotlight on Elephant Trunk Rock (White Mound Route)

An unusual rock formation is a must see on the White Mound Route. Elephant Trunk Rock is located in a valley carved out by Willow Creek and its tributaries.

Elephant Trunk Rock was not always known by that name. At one time, it was known as "The Devils Hitching Post." An article in the ”Richland Democrat” from 1935 quotes the following, told by a pioneer settler of the county: “Children were told that when there was a death in the community, a man on a black horse tied his mount there and wandered over the hills and valleys, bringing the death angel. Tradition says a man once saw the horse tied there and approached to investigate. The horse seemed friendly and the stranger advanced to inspect and admire the animal, when a man appeared above on the cliff and the horse turned and kicked, striking the investigator and bringing death. Such is the story told by mothers of the Devil’s Hitching Post some eighty years ago to their children.”

Elephant Trunk Rock’s existence was threatened in 1923 when the owner, Peter Ruetten, was taken to court to argue the rock should be blasted out of the way in order to straighten the road. A newspaper report of that time stated the argument was that “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and that all roads should be that shortest distance.” The article went on to say, “Transforming the crooked, sandy road, which curved between and around the interfering rocks, into a straight well-graded turnpike, was an accomplishment everyone approved until Elephant Trunk Rock was approached. When it became known it was the next obstacle to be removed, all residents in the vicinity rose against the plan. So much pressure was brought to bear that it was carried to the state highway commission which ordered Elephant Trunk Rock should remain. A sign bearing the name of the rock was planted near its base.”

Renee on our stop at Elephant Trunk Rock

Well Spring gave us a beautiful weekend here in Illinois. We managed to get in our first ride along with our son who was breaking in his new bike! It was a blast and we look forward to many more rides this year. Check out some of the scenery we enjoyed:

Don't forget, we have all your route and map needs in the Driftless Store. Get out and safe and stay well!

228 views0 comments