Showing 1-96 of 121 items found in Outdoors & Play
Woodford State Fish and Wildlife Area
Picturesque bottomland setting with an abundance of silver maple, cottonwood, ash and willow trees. Picnicking, camping, boating, fishing, and hunting add to the visitor's enjoyment.
Wolf Creek State Park
Eight miles northwest of Windsor, Wolf Creek State Park encompass 11,100 acres of water, 250 miles of shoreline and large tracts of carefully maintained indigenous woodlands ideal for camping, horseback riding, snowmobiling, boat fishing, water skiing, pontoon boating, windsurfing or just plain bobbing and drifting on the glittering expanse of the lake itself. In addition to visiting the small, friendly wooded campgrounds or taking part in the action on the lake, swimming is available from the beach. You can also take a leisurely stroll through nearby forests. An abundance of deer, pheasant, rabbits, wild turkey and songbirds are almost always visible.
Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
There are 41 individual forest preserves for the purpose of protecting the natural beauty of Winnebago County, as well as for education and recreation. The forest preserves provide over 9,700 acres of property for the use and enjoyment of the general public. Lush woods, picturesque streams, dramatic cliffs and dells, unspoiled prairies and native wildlife are treasures to be enjoyed by residents and visitors of all ages. Hiking, camping, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, bird watching and cross-country skiing are recreational activities available at sites throughout the county.
William W. Powers Conservation Area
Offering fishing, waterfowl hunting, picnicking, and winter sports. At the center of its attraction is Wolf Lake, segmented by dikes and offering six miles of shoreline to bank anglers.
William G. Stratton State Park
Although only 613 acres in size along the Illinois River, this state park is widely used by boaters and anglers of northeastern Illinois. Launching ramps with docks serve boaters from the Illinois River Bridge in Morris.
Wildlife Prairie Park
A unique, 2,000-acre zoological park which is home to wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bear, elk, cougar, otter, and others. You will enjoy the park's spectacular natural settings, butterfly garden, wildflowers, lakes and restored prairies.
White Pines Forest State Park
Enjoy recreation on 385 acres, much of it forest, with a state park lodge and provisions for tent and trailer camping. It is also noted for its vine-covered limestone bluffs.
Weldon Springs State Park
Weldon Springs State Recreation Area is a 550-acre state park located near Clinton, Illinois. It centers on Salt Creek and the impoundment of a tributary, Weldon Springs, to form Weldon Spring Lake, a reservoir.
Weinberg-King State Park
William Creek meanders through this park, providing habitat for an abundance of wildlife. Set in 770 acres of rolling terrain and steep hillsides, Weinberg-King is popular in winter for its cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park
The gateway to the largest outdoor playground in southern Illinois includes Rend Lake, the second largest manmade lake in the state. Wheelchair access.
Washington County State Recreational Area - Nashville, IL
A 248-acre lake fed by two creeks is the focal point of the Washington County State Recreational Area. The area offers several barrier-free facilities, including camping, hunting, picnicking and a fishing pier.
Walnut Point State Park
State park with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Concession stand and boat rental available.
Wabash County Beall Woods State Park
Located 6 miles South of Mt. Carmel on Illinois Rt. 1, Beall woods contains one of the oldest dedicated nature preserves in Illinois. The "Forest of the Wabash" contains the largest single tract of untouched deciduous forest in the U.S.
Union County State Fish & Wildlife Area
This area currently winters nearly 100,000 of the 850,000 Canadian geese that spend the cold-weather months in Illinois. Numerous shallow sloughs and other water areas are scattered throughout its 6,202 acres.
Tunnel Hill State Trail
Rolling agricultural fields, reclaimed strip mines, ravines, rocky streams and wooded bluffs dominate the northern half of the Tunnel Hill State Trail. With 47.8 miles (one-way) of crushed gravel surface, extended inclines and dark tunnels, this trail is a difficult one, but one not to pass up, as long as you’re up for the challenge. The southern half of the trail explodes with scenery that includes bottomland woods, ponds, streams and marshes. The trail, which winds through seven towns, even touches upon a handful of ghost towns that faded into the landscape after the trains here stopped running.
Trail of Tears State Forest
Set among the rugged slopes of the Ozark Hills in Southern Illinois, this site offers picnic shelters with roadside fireplaces throughout the forest. Features a network of trails for hiking and horseback riding enthusiasts.
Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins
Nestled in the beautiful hills of the Shawnee National Forest, Timber Ridge offers something for everyone, from families and honeymooners to outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy some Southern hospitality while staying in a real log cabin or one-of-a-kind tree house. Each of the units, including the tree house, is equipped with a bathroom, kitchenette, heating and air conditioning. Physical Location: Karbers Ridge, IL 62955 GPS: 37°33’52.18?N 88°20’17.03?W
Stephen A. Forbes State Park
Located among the rolling hills of Southwestern Illinois, this park has a beach and offers boating, camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, and other activities. 140 camp sites open year round for outdoor lovers
Starved Rock State Park West Hike
Starved Rock State Park West Hike offers a decidedly different set of attractions than its eastern counterpart. On this hike you’ll encounter a series of overlooks from wooded bluffs and rocky cliffs high above the Illinois River. This 2.9-mile hike varies in difficulty due to the large amount of stairs that need climbing. The dominant feature of Starved Rock can be found on this hike, via a narrow bluff that runs 4-miles along the south branch of the Illinois River. The park’s namesake towers 125 feet above the river, offering commanding views of the nearby islands and river. Some notable excursions include, French Canyon, Wildcat Canyon and Pontiac Canyon with sweeping views of the Illinois River.
Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center
The Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center has several interactive displays, free videos on the park, hiking maps, and more. Trailheads Concessions & Gifts, also located here, is a great place to buy gifts, souvenirs, and snacks (fresh fudge, too)! The Visitor Center and Trailheads are open year-round.
Starved Rock State Park East Hike
Starved Rock State Park has a beautiful East Hike that offers canyons galore, each with slightly different shapes, sizes and colorings. At 6.4 miles of dirt terrain, this hike is moderately difficult. Cool, shady and overgrown with ferns, the canyons offer a plethora of trees and flowering plants—a true delight to explore. You’ll also encounter scenic overlooks 100 feet above the Illinois River. The real crowd pleasers at Starved Rock are the numerous sandstone canyons that were carved deep into the bedrock as upland streams drained into the Illinois River. Some noted canyons of worth to explore are Kaskaskia Canyon, Ottawa Canyon and Hennepin Canyon Overlook.
Starved Rock State Park - Ice Climbing
While rock climbing is prohibited, there are up to five canyons in which ice climbing is permitted when conditions allow. All ice climbers must sign in at the ranger station (Park Office) and must have a partner. Call ahead to check ice and other park conditions.
Starved Rock State Park
Seasonal waterfalls, awe-inspiring bluffs and rugged canyons dominate the storied landscape at Starved Rock. Rich with history and beauty, Starved Rock’s hiking trails meander through towering trees and scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. Outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, paddle boat cruises, cross-country skiing, trolley rides, fishing and picnicking. Visitors can stay at the historic Starved Rock Lodge or in one of its cozy cabins.
Starved Rock Lodge
Full-service Conference Center in Starved Rock State Park. Dining room, bar, veranda, outdoor dining, indoor pool (for Lodge guests). Retreats, meetings, banquets, reunions and all-inclusive dream weddings. The Lodge has 69 rooms and 21 cabin rooms in a rustic, wooded setting.
Starved Rock Adventures Harbor Villas and Suites
Waterfront family villas and suites. 1-2 bedroom housekeeping units. Deluxe and unique. Open April through October. $$
Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Contains a large bluff overlooking a long, narrow lake. Camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, hiking, and hunting opportunities provide a vast recreational experience. Concession and boat rentals are also available.
Spitler Woods State Natural Area
Two-thirds of the area is a dedicated nature preserve containing one of the few remaining stands of old-growth timber in Illinois. Two trails wind through the nature preserve, allowing the hiker to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the forest.
Southern Illinois Wine Trail
Illinois' newest wine trail connects six wineries dotted throughout the southeast corner of the state. Visitors can enjoy both breathtaking vistas and friendly rural communities, all while sampling excellent red and white wines.
Snakeden Hollow State Fish and Wildlife Area
Features exceptional waterfowl hunting opportunities. The 112 water impoundments offer large-mouth and small-mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, bullhead, rainbow and brown trout for fishing. Seasonal restrictions and limited access may apply.
Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
A pool of clear bubbling water which sparkles like silver on sunny days provides the basis for the name of Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area. Even on extremely cold days, this pool does not freeze, and visitors marvel at the bordering beds of watercress. Majestic oaks and prairie grasslands provide a panorama of natural beauty to park visitors. The Fox River runs through this picturesque area which is also home to several small manmade lakes. A natural prairie restoration project gives visitors a feeling of the original landscape with native wildflowers, songbirds, waterfowl and upland game. Picnicking, fishing and hiking are popular pastimes in summer, with ice fishing, sledding, ice skating and cross-country ski trails available for the winter sports lover. For relaxing, exercising or just enjoying nature, Silver Springs is the perfect get away location.
Siloam Springs State Park
Enjoy hiking, camping, and canoeing at Siloam Springs State Park in Western Illinois.
Shabbona Lake State Park
Shabbona Lake State Park has 1,550 acres of rolling prairie and features a 318 acre man-made fishing lake. Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area provides a convenient, natural haven from the hustle and bustle of daily life. With facilities for picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and winter sports, Shabbona Lake is a convenient and comfortable retreat where you can refresh and reinvigorate yourself in a rare, unspoiled environment.
Sangchris Lake State Park
200 sites and 135 hook-ups. Nestled in native forests and brimming with a record-setting bass population, this park is a comfortable outdoor retreat.
Sam Dale Lake Conservation Area
Multiple-use recreational area with a 194-acre lake. It provides habitat for shore birds and upland game and offers camping, hunting, hiking, fishing and horseback riding.
Saline County Conservation Area
Long before the first settlers appeared, the Indians made salt from their "Great Salt Springs." This site encompasses nearly 1,250 acres of bottomland and heavily timbered hills.
Rocktown Adventures is a specialty outdoor retailer and adventure club. They offer sales, rentals, lessons, guided trips and related apparel for kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. They also carry camping equipment, lifestyle apparel and transportation equipment. Rocktown's mission is to help you gear up and head out. They carry top equipment sold by knowledgeable staff. Their experienced instructors love to share their passion for the outdoors. The trip guides know the waterways and trails like the back of their hand. The shop is conveniently located near an abundance of recreational assets waiting to be discovered by you!
Rock Island Trail State Park
The Rock Island Trail provides 27 miles for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. One of the premier rails-to-trails facilities in Illinois, this trail is a sure-fire winner for the entire family.
Rock Cut State Park
With over 3,000 acres of rolling plains and two lakes, Rock Cut State Park is a hiker's paradise. It's also home to some of the best mountain biking in northeastern Illinois, offering 10 miles of dirt and sand terrain, doubletrack and singletrack trails. One of the loops is 4.25-miles, the Main Trail, which runs around Pierce Lake. Another loop snakes around the northeast corner of the park and leads through dense trees and hills.
Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Rice Lake is a waterfowler's dream. Its high quality habitat attracts thousands of migrating birds annually. In addition, areas are also available for fishing, boating, camping, and wildlife observation.
Rend Lake Marina
Prepare for a summer adventure at the full-service marina offering long term slip rentals and transient rentals. Water-ski, cast a line from a fishing boat or join friends on a pontoon boat.
Red Hills State Park
Located on Rt. 50 between Lawrenceville and Olney, this State Park features fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, horse trails and camping in a semi-secluded setting. This 950-acre site offers wooded hills, picturesque meadows, nature areas and an abundance of wildlife.
Randolph County Conservation Area
Amid rolling hills and abundant game cover, this area is a hunter's paradise offering quail, deer (archery only), squirrel, dove, and rabbit hunting. Bass and channel catfish are found in its 69-acre lake. Equestrian trails, picnicking, and camping.
Ramsey Lake State Park
A one-mile walking trail winds through the park, and a 13-mile horse trail is located at the north end alongside a campground for horses.
Pyramid State Park
Pyramid State Recreation Area consists of heavily forested hills and many lakes and ponds. Total overall acreage is 19,701, making Pyramid the largest State Recreation Area in Illinois. It gets its name from a coal mine that once existed here. Many species of wildlife may be found in the area, including songbirds, deer, squirrels, beavers, rabbits, turkey, bobcat, raccoons, possums, coyotes, weasel, mink, woodchucks and waterfowl. Tent and trailer camping are permitted at designated camping areas only. There are 16.5 miles of foot and horse trails and mountain bike riding. Canoeing is popular because of the rough terrain, and boats with 10-hp motors or less are allowed.
Powerton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
The lake was built on the floodplain of the Illinois River in 1971 by Commonwealth Edison Company as a cooling reservoir for the fossil-fuel power plant. Today, the completely diked, 1,426-acre lake is leased for visitor hunting and fishing.
Pere Marquette State Park
At 8,000 acres, Pere Marquette State Park is the largest state park in Illinois. Go hiking on wooded trails, biking along scenic bluffs, fishing and boating on the Illinois River, or horseback riding through the forest. The park is also known for its guided fall color drives and eagle-watching tours in the winter. The rustic stone-and-timber Pere Marquette Lodge makes a great base for exploring the area.
Pere Marquette Lodge and Conference Center
As a centerpeice of Pere Marquette State Park, the lodge and restaurant are an attraction for visitors from miles around. Visitors can spend a day at the park and explore the Great Room of the lodge, dine in the restaurant or even spend a night in a cozy lodge room or cabin. The centerpeice of the rustic timber 1930s Great Room is the 700 ton stone fireplace and life-size chess set. The Great Rooms beckons visitors to pull up a chair and a glass of wine with a view of the Illinois River. The Lodge restaurant is known for its family-style chicken dinner and season Sunday brunch buffets. Spend the afternoon or a weekend for an unforgettable experience.
Peabody River King State Fish Wildlife Area
Boat docks and fishing areas are easily accessed for all skill levels - even special docks for kids.
Newton Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area
This 1,775 acre lake features 540 acres of shoreline as a day use conservation area. Recreational activities include fishing, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and hunting.
Nauvoo State Park
Offers a timbered nature trail, a small prairie plot, and a quiet fishing lake on its 148 acres.
Morrison-Rockwood State Park
Timbered, 1150-acre state park with 77-acre lake stocked with a variety of fish. Class A, 92-site campground with shower building and all sites with electricity. Separate equestrian campground.
Moraine Hills State Park
Moraine Hills State Park located in McHenry, Illinois, offers a tapestry of mosaic marshes, lakes, prairies, bogs, wooded hills and streams that are perfect for hikers, skiers and cyclists. The hike consists of two 8-mile loops of crushed gravel that takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. With a rating of moderate to difficult, Moraine Hills State Park hike will surely make the top of every outdoor enthusiast’s list.
Moody Park (formerly Longacre Park)
Lighted tennis courts, playground, sand volleyball courts, baseball, softball, and soccer fields. a 1.5 mi walking/running path, concession stands, picnic pavilions, a large lake. The Midwest Salute to the Arts is held every year here in August.
Mississippi Palisades State Park
The Mississippi Palisades State Park, located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois is known for its steep cliffs and interesting rock formations, as well as its beautiful trails that lead you to some of those awe-inspiring giant boulders. One such trail is the Sentinel, clocking at over 1.3 miles it’s the longest trail in the park and leads you smack dab into Sentinel Rock, where you can take a turn at trying to conquer this monolith.
Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish & Wildlife Area
1,700 acres of grassland, brushy draws and shrubs on 2,801 acres. Hunting, fishing, picnicking and more.
Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area
Encompasses 871 acres of mostly unreclaimed strip-mining land. The area is dotted with some 15 stocked lakes for fishing. Be aware that shore access is limited and that shorelines tend to drop off suddenly into deep water.
Matthiessen State Park - Cross Country Skiing
Five miles of scenic trails amidst a spectacular geological backdrop enable hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, runners and cross-country skiers to experience a peaceful jaunt through the park, while families congregate around fully-equipped, shaded picnic areas neighboring playgrounds, trailheads and 17th-Century restored French fort.
Matthiessen State Park
Canyons, streams, prairie and forest combine to delight visitors at Matthiessen State Park. Located in central LaSalle County, approximately four miles south of Utica and three miles east of Oglesby, Matthiessen is a paradise for those interested in geology as well as recreation. Visitors can expect to see beautiful rock formations in addition to unusual and abundant vegetation and wildlife. All of this, along with park and picnic facilities make Matthiessen State Park a popular choice for a special outing.
Matthiessen State Park
Enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing and more in this state park known for its waterfalls, bluffs and canyons.
Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area
Bottomlands and bluffs support a variety of animals, plants, and outdoor pursuits including picnicking, camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking. Migrating waterfowl, great blue herons, and bald eagles provide birders exceptional viewing opportunities.
Marseilles State Fish and Wildlife Area
Containing 2,550 acres, the area is jointly used by the Illinois National Guard as a training facility and is open to the general public for hunting.
Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area
This site offers a diversity of landscape covering 1,448 acres over timbered hills, open meadows, and river bottoms. Canoe access enables visitors to float the scenic Mackinaw River. Other activities include fishing, hunting, hiking, and picnicking.
Lowden-Miller State Forest
Nestled in the Rock River Valley, just 3 miles south of the town of Oregon, lies a 2,291-acre wooded area that is one of Ogle County's most beautiful and historic sites. Its scenic qualities come from 120-foot bluffs along 3.5 miles of riverfront forested with hardwood and pine trees. The history stems from the individual who, in the early part of the 20th century, augmented the natural hardwood forest by planting pines. Frank O. Lowden (1861-1943), Illinois' governor from 1917-1921, ardently embraced proper land use and strongly believed in reforestation as a way to retard soil erosion. Over several decades, an estimated 500,000 trees were seeded directly by him or under his supervision.
Lowden State Park
One of the most picturesque sites along the Rock River is just north of Oregon in Ogle County. The bluffs are graced with a majestic image of an American Indian gazing over the Rock River Valley. This is no ordinary statue. It is a 50 foot, concrete-reinforced wonder that is awe-inspiring. A tribute to all Native Americans, but more commonly associated with Chief Black Hawk, the statue was designed by sculptor Lorado Taft. You can enjoy many wonderful views of the Rock River from the park, but the best view of the statue is from IL Rt. 2.
Lombard Park District
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - In addition to quality parks and facilities, enjoy a variety of recreational programs and special events for all ages.
Lincoln Trail State Park
Whether you are looking for history, unusual plant life or recreation, Lincoln Trail State Park has something to interest you. The area is named after the Lincoln Heritage Trail where Abraham Lincoln's family followed en route from Indiana to Illinois in 1831. Lincoln Trail State Park offers American beech woods and a nature preserve with hiking trails, boat rentals, camping, biking, bird watching, fishing, ice fishing and ice skating. Restaurant open seasonally.
Lincoln Prairie Trail
This paved hiking and biking trail follows a historic rail bed for 15 miles across the Illinois prairie.
Lakewood Resort and Gardens
Sportsman's paradise. Permanent wooded seasonal sites, tent camping. Acres of remote backpacking. Guided deer hunting (archery only), turkey hunt.
Central Illinois lake with over 11,000 water acres and 172 miles of shoreline. Lake Shelbyville has 5 federal campgrounds, and 2 state campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites from tent camping up to full hookup. There are several recreational areas with picnic areas and pavilions and 2 wildlife management areas. Three public beaches are available for swimming on the lake. The lake also hosts many launching ramps that are available for boats, and 3 marinas on the lake. Many hiking trails also encompass the lake such as the General Dacey which also includes fitness stations, the Chief Illini trail and others.
Lake Murphysboro State Park
Popular lake for fishing. This 1,000-acre park is the perfect place to enjoy hiking, camping, picnicking, boating and fishing.
Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park
This beautiful 715-acre state park with a 40-acre lake derives its name from a combination of the town of Lena and the Latin work for water, aqua. Lake Le-Aqua-Na offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities including more than 10 miles of mult-use trails. The large tracts of wooded land include oak, hickory, walnut and pine trees. Woodland flowers are on display, especially in the spring and early summer, and wildlife is abundant. There is boating, fishing, a children's fishing pond, swimming, picnic and playground areas, shelters, trails for mountain biking, hiking and cross-country skiing, equestrian trails, sledding, hunting and camping.
Guests have the opportunity to rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats to explore the rivers and lakes at Kickapoo State Park. Canoe and kayak trips (8 or 13 mile) are offered or rentals can be done by the hour. Following your adventure, guests can grab a bite to eat at the on-site Dockside Cafe which offers live music throughout the summer.
Kickapoo Creek Park
Kickapoo State Recreation Area in Oakwood, IL has 22 deep-water ponds, ranging in size from 0.2 to 57 acres, providing a total of 221 acres of water for boaters, canoeists and anglers. Lushly forested uplands and bottomlands along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River is habitat for enough birds, wildlife and wildflowers to please any nature lover, while nature trails and running trails provide pathways to inspiration and physical fitness. If you want a less demanding excursion in the outdoors, there are facilities for camping and picnicking. With 22 lakes and access to the Middle Fork River, Kickapoo is known for the opportunities it provides for water-based outdoor activities. Anglers find excellent fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and redear sunfish. Especially popular are the annual fall and spring stockings of rainbow trout, which provide an unusual opportunity for central Illinois anglers to fish for catch-able size trout. There are 12 launching ramps on nine of Kickapoo's lakes. Boat and canoe rental is available for Clear Pond.
Kankakee River State Park
The 4,000-acre park extends along both sides of the Kankakee River offering unspoiled settings that are surrounded by scenic bluffs and woods. The park includes hiking trails, biking trails, canoeing, fishing, camping, cross-country skiing, snowmobile trails, picnic areas, hunting, boat launches, and much more! In addition there are several shelters available for picnic events.
Jubilee College State Park
Home to one of the earliest educational enterprises in Illinois, the park and its sister site, Jubilee College State Historic Site, are located 15 miles northwest of Peoria near Kickapoo. In addition, to the rich history of the college, the park offers hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and camping. Jubilee College State Park has more than 40 miles of multi-use trails that wind through woodland, hills, ravines and prairies. Mountain bikers are reminded that horses have the right-of-way on the trails.
Johnson Sauk Trail State Park
1,365 acres of recreation opportunities. The park's centerpiece is a 58-acre lake that offers both fishing and boating, as well as nearly two and a half miles of shoreline to explore.
Iris and Jack Witkowsky State Wildlife Area
A part of the Apple River Canyon State Park Complex, the Iris and Jack Witkowsky State Wildlife Area is 1,100 acres for public hunting and nature viewing. Beginning of a transcontinental bluebird trail segment. Sign in/out at lots #1 or #4.
Indian Mounds State Historic Site
One of the largest prehistoric Hopewell Mounds group in Illinois - interpretive brochures on site.
Illinois State Beall Woods State Park
Located 6 miles south of Mt. Carmel, this park features walking trails through what's been called the Forest of the Wabash. Tent camping is allowed, along with fishing.
Illinois Beach State Park
Stretching leisurely for 6 1/2 miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan, this 4160-acre park is recognized for its geological structure, unique flora, spectacular beauty and recreational opportunities for swimming, boating, hiking, picnicking, biking,
Illini State Park
Illini State Park is the type of park you think of when you think of big picnics and family gatherings. With its rustic Civilian Conservation Corps buildings and riverside picnic areas, Illini State Park offers beautiful views and a sense of history not found in many other parks. Named for the native Americans who once inhabited the area, Illini State Park is located south of the Illinois River between Marseilles and U.S. Route 6. The northern edge of the 510-acre park is bordered by the Great Falls of the Illinois River. In just 2 miles, the river drops 3 feet, creating beautiful, roaring rapids.
Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area
Located in Alexander County, this area is known for its large stands of tupelo, swamp cottonwood and cypress trees. Also known for its Canadian goose and bald eagle observation vantage point during the fall and winter.
Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail
The Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail located just south of Rock Falls is where you will pick up this medium to difficult trail. Cyclists, hikers and anglers come to enjoy the stocked waters, the peaceful wooded banks and the abundance of bird life. As the trail heads south toward the rural countryside the path frees itself from the throngs of people allowing you to enjoy the serene environment all to yourself.
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
The Hennepin Canal State Park, a 104-mile linear park, is a rustic, historic, educational, and recreational jewel spanning five counties and includes the entire width of Henry County with access points in Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo, and Colona. It offers an up-close look at a fascinating piece of transportation history. It is popular with bicyclists who ride from town to town exploring the history, dining, lodging, and entertainment possibilities as they travel. The canal multi-purpose recreational trail is a portion of the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile coast-to-coast trail devoted to non-motorized use. It is also part of the Grand Illinois Trail, a 535-mile loop through northern Illinois. The tree-lined park is a refuge with prairie restorations and wetlands slicing through corn and soybean farmland. Home to diverse flora and fauna, it has become a favorite for bird watchers and prairie enthusiasts. It offers numerous year-round opportunities to boat, hike, bike, fish, ride horseback, snowmobile, ice skate, and cross-country ski. Explore Henry County’s jewel – the Hennepin Canal. In wintertime experience the longest snowmobile trail in the state -- 91 miles on the tow path. You can use the ice at your own risk, but pay heed to the locks, bridges and culverts where the ice likely is thinner than the rest of the canal. Bring your blades, skating along the canal is free! Keep in mind the rule is there must be 4" of snow and 6" of frost on canal for route to be open. Call the Visitor Center for automated message.
Henderson County Conservation Area
Offering camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, and winter sports, the conservation area is about 20 miles southwest of Monmouth and five miles east of the Mississippi River. Group camping also available.
Harry "Babe" Woodyard State Natural Area
This area encompasses 2.2 miles of the Little Vermilion River, listed as a significant stream because of its aquatic features. The site supports 12 state endangered or threatened species and provides habitat for 23 forest interior species.
Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve
This nature reserve is the perfect place to bring the family. Hike 450 natural acres, home of nine Illinois endangered or threatened plants and animals. Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve is The Prairie State's 150th nature preserve.
Hanover Bluff Natural Area
Sixteen-acre public lake located in southern Jo Daviess County. Largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish. No boating. Sign in/out at the visitor parking lot. 350 acres for public hunting.
Green River State Wildlife Area
Green River is the best remaining example of the wetland-prairie mosaic that once covered the area's nearly 1 million acres of lowlands. This multiple-use site provides hunting, hiking, and birding opportunities.
Great Western Trail
This 17-mile trail replaces the abandoned main line of the Chicago Great Western Railroad. It is a flat easy ride connecting the communities of St. Charles and Sycamore.
Proudly referred to as Chicago's "Front yard," Grant Park is a public park, 319 acres located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area. Grant Park’s most notable features include Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. Named for United States President and Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant, Grant Park was developed as one of Chicago's first parks and expanded through land reclamation.
Glenn Shoals Lake
Covering 1200 acres, has picnic areas, marina and public boat slips.
Giant City State Park
Spectacular woodlands and sheer sandstone walls create a challenge for rock climbing and rappelling, as well as hiking. Outdoor lovers will also find horseback riding, a lookout tower, cabins and a swimming pool. Dine at historic Giant City Lodge, known for its homemade fried chicken dinner. Two different locations in Giant City State Park near Carbondale give you climbing options. A trail behind the picnic shelter takes you to a set of steep bluffs known as Shelter #1 near the Makanda entrance; another climbing area of the park includes the steep sandstone cliffs in Devil's Standtable. Plan to bring all of your own equipment since no permanent anchors are allowed. Ropes are permitted in both areas. After rainstorms, the wet sandstone gets really slippery. Use caution when grabbing for ledges as copperhead snakes warm themselves on the rocks during sunny days.
Giant City Park Campground
Class A campground with separate tent and trailer camping for equestrians. Also, a youth group camp and primitive walk-in tent sites.
George Rogers Clark Discovery Trail
Enjoy a scenic ride or walk along this new concrete trail inside Fort Massac State Park. Use of the bicycle and pedestian path is free, and parking is located inside Fort Massac State Park. Upon its completion, the 9 mile trail will begin at Superman Square, continue through Fort Massac State Park, and end in the city of Brookport.
Located 4 miles north of I-80 at exit 19 and adjacent to the historic Hennepin Canal. Shady, quiet camping in the midst of nature's wonders. Spend a night in one of our four rustic cabins. Try the Yurt Accommodations. It is 20 foot diameter, and sleeps 8. It has one queen bed and 2 bunk beds with a full on bottom and twin on top Rent a canoe or kayak and relax on historic Hennepin Canal. Bring you own bicycle or simply walk to enjoy the recreational trail along the Hennepin Canal. The town of Geneseo has great Victorian homes with welcoming porches. In additional to the RV camp sites, there are 12 tent sites available. Internet services on site.