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Ellwood Explorers - Lunch at the Little House
The popular 1891 Victorian playhouse on the grounds of the Ellwood House Museum will be open for play during the second annual ‘Lunch at the Little House’ event. Children of all ages are invited to bring lunch and enjoy an afternoon at the Ellwood House. Historic toys will be available to interact with an learn about and the 1891 Victorian playhouse will be open to visitors as well. This event is free, but advanced registration is requested.
As the centerpiece of downtown Batavia, the Riverwalk extends along the Depot Pond and Fox River to a north point pavilion, where grand views of the Fox River are available.
Lake Lou Yaeger
Lake Lou Yaeger, this 1400+ acre lake offers 45 miles of beautiful shoreline and several recreational opportunities. Visitors can enjoy boating, skiing, swimming, fishing, and camping. The 300 acre park has five picnic areas, two playgrounds, pavilions, grills, restrooms, and hiking trails. With miles of horse trails and a new equestrian campground with full hook-ups and shower house, Lake Lou is a great destination for horse enthusiasts. Milnot Beach has two diving platforms, showers, snack bar, and lifeguards on duty.
Bobber's River Tap Presents River Music
Join us by car, bike, or boat on the banks of the Pecatonica River for some live foot stomping river music. Bobber’s is an open-deck, outdoor bar along the banks of the Pecatonica River. It is a relaxing stop for travelers by road or river. Food and beverages available.
The marina is surrounded by a nine acre green space with shelter and electricity for picnics or family reunions; public restrooms with showers; playground; grills and picnic tables. For more information on rentals, the picnic shelter, or winter storage, contact the marina or visit their website.
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. Goofy Golf and Batting Cages open in April.
Schurmeier Teaching Forest
Two miles of beginner and intermediate hiking trails, educational signage teaches about tree and forestry practices. This forest is the perfect place to spend the day. Horses welcome!
Lenus Turley Park
Beautiful city park with fountain, playground, picnic shelter, butterfly garden and benches to enjoy the summer concerts and community events. Open to the public during daylight hours, includes a large playground and walking paths.
McConnell Bobtown Landing
Enjoy the natural wonders of the Pecatonica River, Stephenson County's water trail, as is meanders nearly 60 miles through undisturbed Midwestern beauty. This landing offers ample parking, two picnic areas, portable toilet, 10' x 20' floating dock, fire pits and charcoal grills, two ADA fishing piers and canoe/kayak and boat launch.
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.
Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve
Just 20 miles from downtown Chicago, located in Oak Brook, IL is the Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve. It’s an easy hike consisting of a 3.2-mile loop. The trail is good for all skill levels and offers a number of activity options. Nearly all of the hike follows Salt Creek as it winds around the bluff and past a few islands on its way to the historic watermill at the south tip of the park.
Plum Creek Nature Center
This center features local natural history exhibits, hands-on displays for children, and family programs that are offered throughout the year. Picnic facilities and camping are available by reservation.
The Timber Campground, Inc.
Large mature trees covering 50 acres surrounds a 5 acre lake for you to unwind in nature's glory. Activities for all ages, swim, fish, play horseshoes, volleyball or swing at the playground. 30 and 50 amp sites all with water and electric hookup. Pull through and tent sites are available.
Effingham Park District
Effingham has four community parks. All offer baseball diamonds, play grounds, basketball courts and great areas for family picnics.
Featuring 240 acres, Nature Center, parking, boat launches and Rock River access, fishing, hiking, nature preserve, cross-country skiing, shelters, grills, playground equipment, and more. Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives here as a lifeguard during his boyhood years.
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.
Historic park offers swimming pools, picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds, sand volleyball court, seasonal canoe and pedal boat rentals. Nine-hole golf course, 18 hole miniature golf course. Multi-use community center, paddlewheel riverboat cruises, tennis courts, native plant demonstration garden, paved bike trails, fishing. Located only the Fox River Trail.
This beautiful Carterville park includes a community center, baseball field, skate park, walking path that surrounds a fishing pond, volleyball courts (sand), playground, pavilion, gazebo, and memorial garden. Ballfields and shelters can be reserved.
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.
Lyon Farm & Village
Features 15 historic buildings that trace the history of Kendall County plus an 1819 Chicago Burlington & Quincy caboose, a fully-stocked general store, an 1840s schoolhouse, town hall, a working blacksmith shop, the Plano Train Depot, (c. 1850s) and Yorkville Firehouse (c. 1888).
Canoe the Vermilion
This outfitter in the Illinois Valley offers canoe equipment, instruction, and transportation to help you fully enjoy this scenic stretch of the Vermilion River. Venture out on your own, or choose from excursions that include everything from picnics along the river to overnight camping trips.
Middle Fork Forest Preserve
Middle Fork Forest Preserve, 1600 acres in northeast Champaign County, offers visitors a campground (53 of 65 campsites have electricty), brand new playground, swimming beach, fishing, hiking, boat rentals, cross-country skiing, picnicking, a Waterfowl Management Area, renovated meeting facility and programs. The campground now accepts online reservations.
Hike or bike into Buehler Preserve from Galena and experience the prairie life! Pets welcome. Fishing is allowed.
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.