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Forest Park is a municipal park with the Chautauqua Auditorium, Vietnam Memorial, Family Aquatic Center, picnic areas, pavilions, baseball & softball diamonds, fishing lagoon (Crystal Lake), skateboard park, soccer fields, a youth athletic center, and more. There is an entrance to the General Dacey trail at the back of the park and the Memorial Sunken Gardens have been revitalized. The park is also home to the Festival of Lights.
Lake View Nature Center
Lake View Nature Center is dedicated to bringing fun, hands-on environmental education and recreation opportunities to promote awareness and appreciation of the natural world. Learn and play with hands-on exhibits, live animals, fishing pond, and summer paddleboat rentals.
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.
Springbrook Nature Center
The present Springbrook facilities includes a barn-styled building with a classroom, open area with activities, a large aquarium and restrooms. The land includes 2 miles of trails that are open year-round. Whether you are walking through a tunnel of prairie grasses or standing four feet above a cattail marsh on the 700 foot long boardwalk, the sights will take you back to the days of the explorers. Along your walk you’ll discover a flowing brook, shady woods, flower-filled meadows and prairies, and marshes thick with cattails and ancient willows.
Lan-Oak Park District
The Lan-Oak Park District manages 23 park sites, the Eisenhower Fitness & Community Center and the Pennsy Greenway (Bike Trail) which is part of the 475-mile Grand Illinois Trail.
Red Oak Nature Center
A visit to the center will help folks learn about the native plants and animals of the Fox River Valley. Interpretive center, hiking trails and tours of "Devil's Cave."
Willowhaven Interpretive Center
Whispering Willows Park at Willowhaven Interpretive Center features open prairies, wetlands, interpretive gardens and 1.5 miles of limestone trails surrounding two scenic ponds. All trails begin and end at the Willowhaven Interpretive Center scenic outlook.
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.
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.
Rock River Cruise
For those with an urge to explore a genuine Illinois prairie, this ride takes you past one of the largest pieces of preserved prairie in the state. The Rock River Cruise is 34.7-miles of moderate difficulty, with a few small climbs along the way. Stop off and visit some of the many attractions along the way, including the John Deere Historic Site and the charming town of Oregon.
Large, wooded park offers 43 acres of timber, grassland & bottomland with picnic and playground areas, hiking trails, cross-country skiing, fishing, and a small boat launch on Yellow Creek
Paris City Bluebird Trail
Visit these scattered sites to witness the return of the bluebird to Illinois. The trail and Sycamore Golf Club are two links in the Transcontinental Bluebird Trail.
Sand Creek Conservation Area
Sand Creek is a 755-acre open space site located just south of Decatur off South Franklin Street. Hike the trails to the bluff overlooking Sand Creek for panoramic view of the countryside. Over 7.5 total miles with varying difficulty. Open to hikers & horseback riders.
Trails for bird watchers and nature lovers; 200 acres.
Franklin Creek State Natural Area
Developed by local volunteers, it offers scenic trails, horseback riding, fishing, and limited hunting. The site contains the historic Franklin Creek Grist Mill and a 180-acre dedicated nature preserve.
Nachusa Grasslands, The Nature Conservancy
Private natural area owned by the Nature Conservancy. Highlights are 1500 acres of prairie, wetlands, and savanna woodlands. Grassland flowers, birds and butterflies to observe.
Prehistoric dwellers left their marks on the rock walls. Petroglyphs depict animals, humans, geometric figures, and crosses.
Dodds Park offers picnic and playground areas, flower gardens, three shelter houses, concession stand, two lighted tennis courts, volleyball and basketball courts, two lighted ball diamonds, horseshoe pits, batting cages and two shuffleboard courts.
Stephenson-Black Hawk Trail
This scenic 13-mile trail for hiking and biking through the rolling hill of northwest Illinois offers both history and nature. The trail, as it follows county and township roads, is partially paved. Attractions include early pioneer sites, one of the highest natural points in the state, and also Blackhawk war sites. Trail maps are available at the Lena Community Park District Office. For those who complete the trail, trail patches and medals are available for purchase.
Rock River Valley Self Help Enterprises Happy Trails
Five acres of walking paths, water gardens, a green house, five-hole miniture golf, swings, and gardens were all designed and maintained by the developmentally disabled clients of the Rock River Valley Self Help Enterprises.
Irons Oaks Enviromental Center
Call for details
Lake View Park Trail
Lake View Park Trail is an advanced single track dirt trail, 6 miles in length. It's quite technical in nature, offering good descents and heart-pounding climbs.
The Millennium Reserve
The Millennium Reserve stretches from downtown Chicago to the Indiana border and suburban Park Forest. It encompasses numerous neighborhoods, the Southeast lakefront, and 37 South suburban municipalities. In aggregate, the Reserve includes a collection of over 15,000 acres of open space such as parks, trails, wetlands, and forest preserves; Making it ideal for runners, bikers and kayakers alike.
Black Hawk Park
The city of Paris operates this property on Twin Lakes. Wander the trails to see plants and animals that live in the woods, on marshy land and on the lake. Special nesting boxes have brough bluebirds to the meadows.