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Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary
The Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is 272 acre of wetlands offering a rare and fragile ecosystem, which includes endangered turtles, many birds and unique plant life. It is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 52 and Mormon Road about 3 miles south of Amboy. Open to the public 7 days a week for walking and bird-watching. No dogs are allowed due to sensitive plant and wildlife.
Apple River Canyon State Park
Apple River Canyon State Park is in the hilly northwest corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border. Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife characterize this area. Once a part of a vast sea bottom that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, the scenic canyon area was formed by the action of the winding waters of the Apple River. The park offers hiking, day use, camping and fishing, plus Millville, a National Historic Register site.
Weinberg-King State Park
William Creek meanders through this park, providing habitat for an abundance of wildlife. Set in 770 acres of rolling terrain and steep hillsides, Weinberg-King is popular in winter for its cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Kaskaskia River State Fish and Widlife Area
One of the largest state-owned and managed sites in Illinois, located 35 miles southeast of St. Louis. The land and water area total more than 20,000 acres of river and bottomland. It contains 36 miles of river.
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.
Fermi is the site of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, where particles circle the four-mile ring 57,000 times each second. Restored prairie grass areas, historic barns and a buffalo herd are also on display.
Iroquois County State Wildlife Area
The area features some of the finest and most extensive prairie-marsh and sand dune vegetation remaining in Illinois. Primarily operated as a permit pheasant hunting area, hiking, picnicking, and snowmobiling opportunities are also available.
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.
Cache River State Natural Area
Renowned for its ancient cypress-tupelo swamp, this natural area has been named one of America's 10 Most Beautiful Hidden Gems by Budget Travel. This sprawling area contains 100 threatened or endangered plant and animal species, and 11 state champion trees that have stood for centuries. Visitors enjoy birding, hunting, wildlife watching, canoeing and hiking. Bikers can access the Cache River via the Tunnel Hill State Trail.
Boone County Conservation District
The Boone County Conservation District manages over 3,00 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands in scenic Boone County, Illinois. Minimum impact recreational opportunities, special events and educational programs are offered to the public throughout the year.
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.
Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area
A 6,400-acre wildlife area on the north end of Lake Shelbyville. Hunting for waterfowl, forest and upland game is popular. Boat access is provided to accommodate anglers and hunters.
Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area
Fishing, boating, picnicking in the out-of-doors.
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.
Devil's Kitchen Lake
This 810 acre lake with a maximum depth of 90 feet and a 24-mile shoreline is part of the Crab Orchard Refuge. It is stocked with rainbow and brown trout and provides largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish, bullheads, and carp. Boat ramps are available. Boats have a 10-horsepower limit. Camping is available.
Burns Hunting Club
Located 1.7 miles west of Illinois Route 148 on Grassy Road just south of the Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge. Waterfowl hunting on 960 acres. Guides available. One of the top three harvest clubs in the southern Illinois quota zone.
Little Grassy Lake
Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina is located on Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and is a destination stop for returning campers, boaters, and sportsmen. They offer full service camping, primitive camping, boat rentals, concessions, and a bait shop. Reservations accepted to reserve boats and campsites. Pontoon boats, fishing boats, and kayaks can be rented. You don't want to pass up the opportunities to explore the thirty miles of shoreline and embrace the solitude you will find on the lake. The 1200 acre lake is stocked with catfish, crappie, and bass, and offers plentiful oppourtunities for fishing, paddling, boating, and wildlife observation. Amenities include waterfront camping sites, remodeled bathrooms with hot showers, dump station, swimming, pets allowed, monthly educational programs and a renovated concession/bait shop which is stocked with minnows, crickets, camping supplies, cold beverages, food items, ice cream, firewood and ice.
The largest man-made lake in Illinois (26,000 acres), is a premier location for outdoor sports. Known to sailors, it is one of the best and most challenging for sailboats. There is also boating, fishing, hunting, bird watching, sand beaches, and camping areas. Hotels, cabins and golf courses make the area a true outdoor lover's playground.
Skillet Fork Outfitters Inc.
With over 3,500 acres of cropland & 1700 acres of prime woods, this newly formed business is for the trophy whitetail, turkey or coyote hunter. New lodge, hot evening meals, competitive prices; will pickup from Evansville Airport.
Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area
Approximately 5,000 acres are timber, while there are 46 miles of trails for activities including horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and bicycling. Boating is permitted. Camping with electricity.
Sanganois Conservation Area
A 9.960-acre bottomland environment of sloughs and backwater lakes, Sanganois is managed primarily to provide a refuge for migratory waterfowl and a public duck hunting area.
Turkey Bluffs State Fish and Wildlife Area
Hiking, picnicking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. Hunting for upland game, fur-bearers and deer is encouraged on its 2,265 scenic acres that overlook the Mississippi River.
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.