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City of Zion - Shiloh Park
Whether it’s by offering wholesome programs, activities and special events, by providing enjoyable facilities or by preserving the aesthetic beauty of the community, the sole purpose of Zion Park District is the enrichment of lives.
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.
Woodridge Town Centre
A multipurpose open play area, Woodridge Town Center hosts a variety of festivals in Woodridge.
Splash around at the Aquatic Center. Climb up four stories and launch down your choice of two waterslides with more than 320 feet of winding turns and diving wells, or take a dip in the pool.
Cabin Nature Center
Nature center, nature trail and dog park. Free admission, cost for some activities.
Artesian Well at Paradise Cove
Nestled along Indian Creek is a natural artesian well where thousands of gallons of pure water flow each day - as it has since 1927. A ten foot water wheel is turned continually by the flowing water. The site, which is accessed by Stephenson County's only covered bridge, includes a waterfall, large flower beds and gazebo to enjoy while sipping the bubbling water. Open: 7 am - 8 pm.
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center - Willow Springs
Forest preserve nature center designed to educate the public about the importance of wildlife and our environment.
Columbia Woods Forest Preserve
A River Thru History
Rend Lake Shooting Complex
Located in the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, the shooting complex offers gamesmen one of the most state of the art shooting facilities in the Midwest. Wheelchair access.
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.
Consisting of the Robert McCormick Mansion Museum, the First Division Military Museum, ten acres of gardens and parks, 27-hole championship golf course and nine-hole Cantigny Youth Links.
Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Memorial Park in Westmont
The newly renovated Bowen park's theme for their new playground is "Forest Findings". The overall layout offers tiered play areas arranged on the northwest hillside of Bowen Park. Fun and learning will go hand-in-hand as children and their families enjoy modern playground amenities, combined with several environmental learning stations that represent a forest ecosystem. Parents and kids alike will also enjoy the six-station fitness/exercise trail located on the perimeter of the playground.
Bonnie Brook Golf Course & Banquet Facility
Bonnie Brook is one of the most popular public courses in Lake County, boasting a meticulously manicured 18-hole course with rolling, wooded terrain. Its natural, picturesque landscape offers golfers the ability to enjoy tree-lined fairways, spacious greens, small lakes and the beauty of the north branch of the Waukegan River, which flows gently throughout the course. With a course length of 6,701 yards, Bonnie Brook offers championship golfers a solid test while being friendly and forgiving to the high handicappers. The clubhouse features a Indoor Golf and Learning Center which houses a P3Proswing Simulator. The simulator and its software helps analyze a player's swing and provides guidance how to improve their game and is available on an appointment basis only.
Lakewood Forest Preserve
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.
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.
Vernon Hills Golf Course
This golf course has been ranked as one of the top ten 9 hole golf courses in Chicagoland. Situated in Vernon Hills, this challenging 9-hole municipal course boasts small greens, rolling terrain, tight fairways and seven holes featuring water. Golfers of all skill levels will appreciate both the playability and the eye-catching views. The full-service clubhouse features a varied lunch menu, which is served all day and a full-service bar. Banquet facilities available for up to 80 people.
Vernon Hills Park District Sullivan Community Center
Overlooking park land, the Community Room, equipped with a stage and kitchen, can serve 260 dinner guests or 400 people theater seating. Smaller meeting rooms with a capacity of 10-140 people including a gymnasium rental are also available.
Located across from the Statehouse in Vandalia, the park features a life-size, bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln. This is a favorite spot for photos with the 16th president.
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.
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.
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 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.