Showing 1-24 of 155 items
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.
Loyola University Retreat & Ecology Center
Welcome to 100 acres of prairies, savannas, woodlands, wetlands, and ponds- otherwise known as Loyola University Chicago's Retreat and Ecology Campus. Located in beautiful Woodstock, Ill., our retreat facility welcomes guests to visit our ecologically friendly campus and experience the great outdoors through a multitude of interactive team building activities. The Retreat and Ecology Campus provides a serene setting for overnight conferences, retreats, workshops, classes, and special events, while allowing individuals to connect intellectually, spiritually, and through nature.
Bobber's River Tap
Bobber's is an open, outdoor, deck bar and picnic area, along the banks of the Pecatonica River serving food prepared by Three Headed Monster with racks of ribs, pulled pork, delicious smoked BBQ, ice cold beer and specialty drinks along with non-alcoholic beverages. A relaxing stop for travelers by road or river. Offering weekly entertainment on the Pontoon Boat Stage. Bring your own pole and boat, or just sit and relax with a cold drink and watch the river flow by. Open: May thru October: Sunday: 11 am - 10 pm; Thursday thru Saturday: 11 am - 1 am.
Des Plaines Conservation Area
This site's 5,500 acres make up one of the largest and most used hunting and field trailing areas in the state. It also offers camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, two small natural areas and 12 miles of equestrian trails with cross-country jumps.
Midewin Tall Grass Prairie
Largest open space in northeast Illinois.
Columbia Woods Forest Preserve
A River Thru History
CITY: Willow Springs
Columbia Woods Forest Preserve
Offers places to fish and picnic. Canoe access. Biking. A host for "A River Thru History" each September, where you can step back 200 years into Chicago's past with a festive gathering of fur trappers, settlers, craftsmen, and entertains along the banks of the Des Plaines River - www.ariverthruhistory.com.
CITY: Willow Springs
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.
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Over 25,000 acres, nearly 140 miles of trails and educational facilities. Enjoy relaxing, volunteering and exploring the forests, lakes, prairies, and open spaces.
Lakewood Forest Preserve
There are formations of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, and more. An underground stream flows through the cave bed, and the temperature is a relatively constant 58 degrees.
Half Day Forest Preserve
This quiet and clean preserve features a 1-mile trail for hikers, bicyclists and cross-country skiers, three beautiful picnic shelters, a 3-acre pond for fishing, open playfields and a playground. The Half Day Forest Preserve is also the starting point for the Des Plains River Trail which links this preserve to the Wright Woods Forest Preserve. The entrance and parking area are located on Route 21 (Milwaukee Avenue) at the light for Woodlands Parkway, south of Route 60 (Townline Road) and just north of Route 22 (Half Day Road).
CITY: Vernon Hills
Carlyle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
As a major stopping point for migrating ducks and geese, this 9,486-acre area offers excellent public waterfowl hunting opportunities.
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.
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
Enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing and more in this state park known for its waterfalls, bluffs and canyons.
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.
Owl Prowl Weekend
On Friday and Saturday: Steve Bailey, an ornithologist, will be here for Owl Programs and Owl Walks. Programs are at 6:00 pm with an Owl Walk to follow on both days, finishing back at the lodge around 8:30 pm. Price is $10 for adults and $7 for children 10&under. Everyone should plan on bringing a flashlight. During the program, Steve will have some owl specimens, feathers and pellets. He will be trying to call in a Screech, Barred and Great Horned Owls. Maybe if we are lucky we will see some nest or uncommon wintering owls. Reservations required on Saturday and Sunday: “Hoo” Haven Wildlife and Education Center from Durand, IL will be here with their owls for a presentation. Programs are at 10am, 12pm and 2pm in the LaSalle Room of the Lodge. Adults $5, Children 10&under: $2.50.
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Visit Illinois’ bayou. Yes, the bayou in Illinois. Cypress Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to incredible cypress-filled swamps and wetlands and is unlike anything you expect to find in the Midwest. The refuge protects 15,000 acres of lush wetlands and some of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi River.
Doctorman's Cache Core Hunting Preserve
Upland game bird hunting from Oct. 1 - April. Dogs & guide service available. Located 3 miles west of Jct. Hwy. 37 & Hwy. 169, or, 4 miles east of I-57 just off Shawnee College Road.
Apple River Canyon State Park - Thompson/Salem Units
This 1,150 acre area allows hunting, fishing; no boating/biking. See postings/fact sheets at registration. Sign in/out at lots #1 or #2. The vegetative cover at the site is a mixture of steep timbered slopes and bluffs with grassland, row crops and hay fields predominate on ridge tops. The topography can be severe especially bordering the Apple River.
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.
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.
Spring Valley Nature Center/ Volkening Heritage Farm
135 acres, natural history museum, handicapped-accessible trails, 1880's living history farm and pioneer cooking demos. Cost for some programs.