Showing 97-192 of 260 items found in Outdoors & Play
SK-8 Skateboard Heaven
This 11,000-sq.-ft. skateboard park features obstacles, ramps, rails, ledges, spines and bowls. Built specifically for skateboards and in-line skates, this facility is popular with both skaters and spectators.
Tour the walk-through gardens and browse the nursery selling 170 different ornamental grasses, trees and shrubs.
This park features a pavilion with tables, a gazebo, fountain, a play lot, basketball court, historic cannons and monuments, and a walk bridge across the Galena River to Galena's downtown historic shopping district.
Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve
Experience a commanding view of the Mississippi River and the only known intact thunderbird effigy mound in Illinois. Hiking, bird watching, sightseeing, Native American archaeology and much more on 85 acres of scenic Mississippi River bluffs.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
Ski along scenic slopes at Galena's Chestnut Mountain Resort, perched high above the Mississippi River. Rated by Ski Magazine as one of the top ski resorts in the Midwest, Chestnut Mountain goes all out with a snowboarding park and night skiing. Stay at the rustic 120-room lodge, which has three restaurants, including the fine-dining Sunset Grille. There are fun non-skiing activities in the summer as well, including boat cruises on the Mississippi Explorer and the exhilarating Alpine Slide, which speeds 2,000 feet down a hillside. Or try the new Segway Mountain Adventure Tours, a three-mile guided ride through rolling terrain.
Hike or bike into Buehler Preserve from Galena and experience the prairie life! Pets welcome. Fishing is allowed.
Keough Effigy Land & Water Reserve
Explore the past along Keough's hiking trails. Come and see its mining and Native American history.
Winston Tunnel State Natural Area
230 acres for public hunting, hiking, nature viewing and an historic railroad tunnel.
Enchanting Linmar Gardens is nestled in a hillside overlooking the historic town of Galena. The secluded 3.5-acre garden is situated on natural outcroppings which have been enhanced with hand-built terraces. Meander on a guided tour along paths through a collection vibrant annual and perennial flowers including hostas, viburnums, conifers, grasses and daylilies.
Lake Storey Park
Enjoy this 411-acre park and 132-acre lake. Biking/running trails, beach/swimming boats, canoeing, fishing, lakes and rivers. Sight of the Heritage Days Festival, the Cardboard Boat Regatta, & the Great Balloon Race.
Fabyan Japanese Garden
A tranquil oasis where history melds with nature and design. This historic garden affords the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of Japanese gardening and enjoy a moment of harmony with nature.
Natural Resource Center
The Natural Resource Center is located at Russell Preserve, and is open to the public on weekends. The Center offers a great stop for exploration and live animal viewing for all members of the family. The Center can be reserved by school groups and other organizations for outdoor educational field trips. While there, take a walk through Russell Preserve, beneath mature oaks and hickories, surrounded by woodland wildflowers. In the winter, Russell Preserve is a great place for tobogganning.
Ben Miller Memorial Park
This park provides a quiet scenic area ideal for family reunions and group gatherings. A large and a small shelter house, softball diamond, volleyball and basketball courts, playground, and wooded area are offered. A concession stand is open during softball season.
CITY: German Valley
Willowbrook Wildlife Center
DuPage's premier wildlife rehabilitation and educational facility. Over 90 species of injured native wild animals are on exhibit. Open daily. Donations encouraged.
CITY: Glen Ellyn
Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden opened a little more than 40 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. Each year, nearly one million people visit the Garden's 26 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on 385 acres of land on and around nine islands. Six miles of shoreline extend along 81 acres of water, including the Great Basin, North Lake, and Skokie River Corridor. The Garden also has a renowned Bonsai Collection.
The Grove National Historic Landmark
The prairie grove, covering 123 acres of ecologically diverse prairie land, is preserved and maintained as former home of the visionary horticulturist and educator Dr. John Kennicott, who brought his family from New Orleans to settle on his land in 1836. The Grove, located in Glenview, is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It offers many opportunities for educational, environmental and historical enjoyment including two historic homes, the Kennicott House and the Redfield Estate; the Grove Interpretive Center, a Native American Village, a Log Cabin, a Schoolhouse, a Wetlands Greenhouse and numerous interpretive trails.
Grafton Zipline Adventures
Looking for a jaw dropping, heart racing experience? Try Grafton’s newest attraction – a zip line that affords those brave enough a stunning river view and hours of fun. The nine zip lines total 1.75 miles, which should take approximately two hours to complete. The first of nine zip lines is nicknamed the Baby Bear – the shortest measuring only 300 feet in length. The longest, at 2,000 feet, is the Soaring Eagle, which has breathtaking views during its 250-foot descent. The Deer Hollow (3rd zip) and the Barn Burner (the final zip) are both 1,500 feet. The Limestone Leap (7th zip) is 1,300 feet, the River Run (5th zip) is 1,200 feet, the Gobblers Knob (6th zip) is 1,000 feet and the Road Runner (2nd zip) at 700 feet.
Wilson Park offers baseball fields, walking trails, picnic shelters, and much more. Each year the 74-acre park is replanted with seasonal flowers and plants.
CITY: Granite City
Wildlife Prairie State Park
Wildlife Prairie State Park is home to over 150 animals that are native to Illinois, including wolves, bison, black bear, elk and cougars. Experience the Adventure Trek Tour, which includes a trip through the bison and elk pasture. Unique overnight lodging located in the park includes authentic train cabooses and a cabin nestled in the woods. The park also offers biking enthusiasts 5 miles of singletrack intermediate level terrain with good technical trails and rocky terrain it will feel like you’re biking in the mountains.
CITY: Hanna City
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.
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.
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.
Wapello Land & Water Reserve
Experience Native American mounds, prairie and the Apple River. Hike beginner trails. Pets welcome. Fishing allowed.
Rall Woods State Natural Area
280 acres for public hunting, hiking, nature viewing. Area has native hilltop prairies and views of the Mississippi River.
Plays host to community festivals in Hanover Park.
CITY: Hanover Park
Shawnee National Forest
The Shawnee National Forest is famed for its awesome Garden of the Gods, and is home to the Rim Rock Recreational Trail (the forest has a system of 403 miles of equestrian/hiking trails). Hikers are greeted by magnificent jutting walls of rock covered with emerald-green moss, and paths that meander through canyons under the forest canopy. Nestled between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the stunning Shawnee National Forest landscape features rolling hills, lakes, creeks and rugged bluffs. If you’re into climbing than a must-see is Jackson Falls, located near the town of Ozark in the Hidden Springs Ranger District in Shawnee National Forest. The climb takes place on 60 feet of sandstone cliffs and boulders that include numerous freestanding towers.
Herrin Park District
Herrin Park District is a beautiful, well kept park with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool as well as a multipurpose recreation complex. The park offers two walking paths with a quarter-mile all weather track, and a one-mile lighted walking trail. Herrin Park is an excellent place for a leisurely jog. You can even enjoy feeding the beautiful ducks.
Beverly Lake Forest Preserve
Beverly Lake Forest Preserve Trail is perfect for hiking and biking. The five mile out and back trail located near Dundee that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
CITY: Hoffman Estates
Homer Lake Forest Preserve
Homer Lake Forest Preserve contains 892 acres for fishing, boating, hiking picnicking, cross-country skiing and sledding. Also available is an exciting Homer Lake Interpretive Center, which hosts thousands every year through programs like "Homer Lake Take Me Fishing" and the unique Natural Playscape.
Itasca Caribbean Theme Waterpark
Features a new zero-depth entry main pool with 6-lanes attached, new separate diving well with drop slide, and high and low diving boards, 185-foot waterslide, separate zero-depth interactive play pools, and more. Call today for birthday party package information.
Hamilton Lakes is home to Chicagoland's largest fireworks display synced to music as well as an annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games. The lakes also offers several fields good for soccer tournaments and other outdoor activities.
Lake Jacksonville Campground
All the beauty and excitement of the great outdoors awaits you at Lake Jacksonville. Whatever you're looking for in outdoor recreation, fishing, sailing, swimming, skiing, canoeing, hiking, and picnic areas you'll find it here.
Not your ordinary youth baseball and softball parks, the fields here are entirely covered in Players Turf, making it virtually rain-out proof and allowing for a variety of different levels of play. Facilities are lighted, and include 20-foot scoreboards, concrete dugouts, concession stands and sound systems.
Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory
Lord and Burnham designed this historic greenhouse featuring a tropical house, cacti room, show house and outdoor gardens.
Forest Preserve District of Will County
Biking and running trails, bird watching, camping, cross-country skiing, sledding, outdoor ice skating, canoeing and rafting and fishing. The district office provides all information on preserves and issues picnic permits.
Inwood Park is located southwest of Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center. The park has tennis courts, fitness trails, a playground and picnic area. Horseshoes and bocce ball are also on the grounds.
Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park
On historic Bluff Street along the waterway in downtown Joliet, this park features free summer concerts, lush grounds, outdoor bandshell and indoor theatre. Office hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm and Friday 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.
Haunted Trails Restaurant & Entertainment Park
Perfect setting to raise your spirits! 14 acre park offers 3 go kart tracks, two 18-hole mini golf courses, batting cages, laser tag arena, rides, 100+ games, restaurant w/ private dining room plus private 5 acre picnic grove for company picnics and groups up to 2,000.
Trail of Tears Lodge
A remote lodge surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest. An abundance of outdoor recreation: horseback riding, hiking, hunting, fishing, shooting range, archery range, dirt bike & ATV trails. Outdoor pool, game room, hot tub and pets accepted.
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.
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.
Located at Lincoln Memorial Park, visitors can "Walk Where Lincoln Walked" by following the presidents footsteps from Jonesboro Square to the park.
Eagle Watching - Union County Refuge
The Union County Refuge in Union offers a popular spot for bald eagle watching. Visitors can view bald eagles and take wildlife photography off the main road, which runs down the middle of the wildlife refuge. Park rangers will be available weekdays to answer questions about the eagles and other wildlife spotted in the refuge. Admission is free. For more information on eagle watching, contact the Union County Refuge (618-833-5175).
CITY: Lake Villa
Forest Preserve District of Cook County's Camp Sagawau is an environmental education center established to promote the study of nature. Call for program schedule.
Lena Lions Park
Lions Park, at over 20 acres, features Splash Land Family Aquatic Center with a 180' waterslide, zero depth entry, many shade shelters, wet sand play area, water features and drop slide. The Splash Land Mini-Golf offers one of the nicest 18 hole miniature golf courses in the Midwest. It has over 275 plant varieties, 4000+ square feet of water areas, three waterfalls and challenges that the entire family will enjoy. The course is ADA compliant. Quench your thirst and your appetite at the Splash Land Food Court. Full restaurant offering sandwiches to soft serve and smoothies to salads - a true family food court. The park also offers picnic and playground areas, flower gardens, shelter house, a concession stand, volleyball and basketball courts, lighted ball diamond, batting cages and restrooms. A 110x110' ice rink is available in season.
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.
Lambs Farm features a farmyard with a petting area and a variety of attractions like mini-golf, a mini-train ride, cow bounce house and an Old World carousel. There is also a pet shop, the Country Inn Restaurant, a thrift shop, and a country store and bakery that benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities.
Lake County Forest Preserve
We currently manage 25,268 acres of land and offer innovative educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for all ages. Visitors enjoy nearly 112 miles of trail for a variety of outdoor recreation uses, fishing ponds and lakes, public access to the Fox River, award-winning nature and history education programs and events, and three public golf courses. Facilities of special interest include Independence Grove near Libertyville, Ryerson Conservation Area near Deerfield, Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda, Greenbelt Cultural Center near Waukegan, and three golf courses (Brae Loch near Grayslake, Countryside near Mundelein, and ThunderHawk near Beach Park). Most Forest Preserves are open from 6:30 a.m. to sunset, every day of the year. Special hours apply at the golf courses, Discovery Museum, Greenbelt Cultural Center and Ryerson Woods.
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.
The Morton Arboretum
Magnificent, 1,700-acre museum of trees and plants from around the world. Hiking trails, paved roads, restaurant, gift shop, open-air tram and handicapped accessible facilities. A perfect place to visit this fall.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing at The Morton Arboretum
Explore a winter wonderland at The Morton Arboretum, where you'll find 3.5 miles of groomed ski trails. Bring your own or rent a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis (in children's and adult sizes). Ski trails are open when there are four or more inches of snow on the ground.
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
This 260-acre site offers nature trails for visitors to explore wetlands, prairie openings, and sandstone bluffs and ledges. The preserve is home to more than 700 plants and 70 bird species, including bald eagles during the winter months.
Volz Fieldhouse- Dellwood Park
Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza
This 2.5-acre park is dedicated to promoting peace and celebrating diversity. The plaza is located at the head of Rockford's 20-mile Perryville Path network of bicycle and recreational trails.
CITY: Loves Park
Lavender Creek Farm
Lavender Creek Farm grows fields of organic lavender plants. Walk the lavender fields, pick bouquets and browse the plants for sale. Lavender soaps, oils, lotions, candles and more are made at the farmhouse - the old fashioned way!
Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden
The gardens boast some of the most beautiful and diverse flora in east-central IL. It also features the award-winning Miriam Davies Memorial Enabling Garden.
Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Lake of the Woods County Park is a 900-acre preserve that features an 18-hole regulation golf course, a 9-hole par 3 course and practice range, fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, sledding the Hi-Tower bell carillon and observation area, a 3.3 mile bicycle/pedestrian path, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens, building rentals and various programs.
River Bend Forest Preserve
The 275-acre River Bend Forest Preserve south of Mahomet contains approximately 130 acres of clear water in two lakes, one of which is the largest public lake in Champaign County, and includes 2.5 miles of forest along the Sangamon River.
Marengo Ridge - McHenry County Conservation District
The major glacial feature at Marengo Ridge Conservation area is the Marengo Ridge, from which the site derives its name. Left by the retreating Wisconsin glacier, the Marengo Ridge moraine is 40 miles long and 3 miles wide, creating one of the steepest vertical moraines in Illinois, at 1,050 feet above sea level. This rugged, fire-protected topography supported wooded communities dominated by oak species. Site features hiking trails, campground, picnic shelters, scenic views, x-country skiing, and fishing.
Coral Woods - McHenry County Conservation District
This sugar maple forest provides the sweet sap necessary for annual maple sugar programs, and is also known for its magnificent display of spring wildflowers. Activities include hiking, x-country skiing, picnic shelters and scenic views.
Ray Fosse Park
Ray Fosse Park is centrally located and offers playground equipment, four lighted picnic shelters, picnic tables, tennis courts, seven baseball fields, Goofy Golf, batting cages & three concession stands and the Park District’s Aquatic Center. The Aquatic Center traditionally opens the last weekend in May. The facility includes swimming pool, diving boards, water slide and separate baby pool with a mushroom sprinkler fountain. You can contact the Aquatic Center, during open season, at (618) 997-1115. Goofy Golf and Batting Cages open in April.
Prairie Lakes Country Club & Inn
Prairie Lakes offers a 9 hole golf course and a full service restaurant and hotel. Hotel and Golf packages available and banquet facilities. Golf opens daily at 7:00am and the restaurant is open 11:00am - 10:00pm daily. Call for seasonal hours.
Mill Creek Park
Mill Creek Park is located seven miles northwest of Marshall, Illinois on the Lincoln Heritage Trail road. Mill Creek consists of 2,600 acres of land and 811 acres of water with 39 miles of shoreline. Since opening, the park has continued to develop; there are picnic areas on either side of the boat launch and at areas around the lake, a 139 site campground with shower facilities and playground, 15 mile ATV trails, horse and walking trails, courtesy docks, cabin and boat rental including kayaks and paddle boats.
Drost Park features a 7-acre lake, pavilions, 1-mile walking trail, boat ramp, playground, and restroom facilities. The University of Illinois' Master Gardeners keep it seasonally beautiful.
This expansive park features picnic areas, baseball and softball fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and sand volleyball courts. The centerpiece of the park is an old train depot, a full-size caboose, and a train car that can be reserved for groups.
Douglas-Hart Nature Center
Explore 70 acres of prairie, wetlands and forest habitat.The Visitor Center features interpretive exhibits, sensory displays and live critters, including a bird observation area.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
I&M Canal State Trail
Enjoy hiking, jogging, cross-country skiing, camping, snowmobiling, fishing, boating, canoeing and biking along the I&M Canal State Trail. This 61-mile recreational trail begins at Brandon Road in Rockdale and parallels the canal to LaSalle Peru.
Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area
Largest tall grass prairie in Illinois. Big bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass thrive here, as do broad-leafed flowering plants known as forbs. Hiking and cross-country skiing.
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.
CITY: Mount Morris
Mundelein Park & Recreation District
The Mundelein Park & Recreation District includes the Steeple Chase Golf Club, Diamond Lake Beach and Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center.
Washington County State Recreational Area
The 248-acre Washington County Lake offers wildlife viewing, fishing and hiking, as well as 900 surrounding acres for hunting. The natural area also has picnic and camping sites.
Lock and Dam #17
This New Boston lock and dam assists with barge navigation on the Mississippi River.
CITY: New Boston
Rustic Acres Campgrounds
155 sites available April 1 - October 31, recreation building, swimming pool, lake fishing, boat rentals, tent camping, handicap access.
CITY: New Douglas
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.
North Branch Bicycle Trail
Bicyclists and hikers can travel this trail that runs from Caldwell and Devon Avenues in Chicago, to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. The 20-mile trail winds along the Chicago River past the Skokie Lagoons and through forest preserves.
River Trail Nature Center
Nature is wonderfully displayed in this silent forest that glaciers carved thousands of years ago. The prairie extends along the riverbanks, rich in plant and animal life.
Spend the day tackling go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, bumper boats and a video arcade.
Oak Park Conservatory
Conservatory guided group tours can be arranged with two weeks notice. Private Rentals: The Conservatory Center and Rubinstein Room are available for private rentals. Discover this botanical gem. Visit fern, tropical and desert greenhouses. Special floral displays offered January, February, March, April, November, December. The Tropical Room also boasts birds and a birdged lagoon with fish and turtles.
CITY: Oak Park
Walnut Point State Park
State park with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Concession stand and boat rental available.
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.
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 and dream weddings. Lodge has 69 rooms and 21 cabin rooms in a rustic, wooded setting.
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.
Lehigh Memorial Park
Lehigh Memorial Park located in Oglesby has an advanced singletrack dirt trail two miles in length. However, what it lacks in duration, it makes up for in the intense network of trails that splinter off from it, offering very fast, large natural drops and jumps.
Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center
The Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center is a joint project of the Homewood-Flossmoor (HF Parks.com) and Olympia Fields (OF Parks.com) park districts. The near 40-acre nature preserve is home to a diversity of wildlife and habitat types. See beautiful woods, wildflowers, birds and furry friends along the way. There are trails along both sides of the park which is located at Vollmer and Western Avenues in Olympia Fields. Please be careful when crossing Vollmer Road. The Park is open to the public daily, sunrise to sunset
CITY: Olympia Fields
Richland Creek Trailhead
The Richland Creek Trailhead serves as the main trailhead for the northern end of the Jane Addmas Recreation Trail. It features parking, a large shelter house with electricity, lights and picnic tables, a restroom, water and a primitive campground area.
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.
Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock State Park is located three miles south of Oregon on Highway 2. The 2,000-acre park includes rock formations, ravines, and unique northern plant associations. In one valley, 27 different types of ferns have been identified. A sandstone bluff, adjacent to the river, has given the park its name. Picnic area amenities include tables, shelters, grills, toilets, drinking water and playground equipment. Six miles of marked hiking trails have been developed, and a public boat ramp/parking facility is located across from the park's main entrance.
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.
Saw Wee Kee Park
Saw Wee Kee Park sits along the south shore of the Fox River. Located in Oswego this park has an abundance of fun, advanced mountain bike singletrack trails to conquer. These 5 miles of steep inclines and quick descents will give you plenty of stories to tell your friends. While you are there you can also fish, kayak and canoe along the Fox River.
Starved Rock Adventures Harbor Villas and Suites
Waterfront family villas and suites. 1-2 bedroom housekeeping units. Deluxe and unique. Open April through October. $$
Center Children's Farm
Experience life down on the farm during guided family tours, or take a hike on the peaceful nature trail.
CITY: Palos Park
Lincoln Prairie Trail
This paved hiking and biking trail follows a historic rail bed for 15 miles across the Illinois prairie.
Kitchell Park and Chautauqua Auditorium
This 40-acre park, donated to the City of Pana by Civil War Captain Kitchell, features the round Chautauqua Auditorium, Schuyler Bridge, a playground and picnic area.
Adjacent to Paris City Hall, this extensively landscaped sunken garden features a serpentine brick wall inspired by Thomas Jefferson's design at Charlottesville and a lion's head fountain patterned after a park in France.