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A green field at sunset.

Outdoor Adventures in the Heritage Corridor

From Local Experts

3 Days 185 Miles


Lemont, Wilmington, Lockport, Morris, Tonica Oglesby, Ottawa, Utica, North Utica

From the local experts at Heritage Corridor CVB

In the Heritage Corridor, getting your family out in nature and enjoying the fresh air is easy and fun!

Take a drive or plan your stay-cation for a weekend of exploring that will be sure to create memories your family will always remember.

Day 1:

Lemont, Wilmington, Lockport, Morris & Tonica

  • A high obstacle course amongst the trees

Start your day at The Forge: Lemont Quarries. Ease into your day of adventure by walking the trails along the Illinois and Michigan Canal at Lemont’s The Forge. After stretching your legs, let your kids explore the Two Towers Adventure, and for ages 10 years and up, the Eight Towers Adventure, which includes climbing, repelling, ziplining and more!

Next, take a ride to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, stopping in at the welcome center to learn about the area, the plants that grow there and the bison that call Midewin home. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the bison out grazing in one of the fields.

Enjoy food for the entire family in Lockport at Ember’s Tap House, which is located downtown right along the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

On your way to your overnight stay, enjoy a wonderful meal at the Morris Chop Shop. They specialize in fresh, locally raised beef and produce. Real wood fire meals give your food a natural smoke and distinctive flavor.

Stay overnight at the peaceful Kishauwau Cabins, a great Starved Rock Area getaway! They offer 17 vacation cabins in varying sizes for your next family reunion, single-family vacation, or just a romantic getaway for two. Family-owned and operated, Kishauwau Cabins sits in the shadows of Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks.

Day 2:

Oglesby, Ottawa & Utica

  • Three Kayakers at Starved Rock Ottawa.

Starved Rock State Park is a world apart from anything else in Illinois. From the minute you wind your car through the towering trees, you will feel as if you are away from everyday life. Starved Rock has 13 miles of trails to explore and the Illinois River offers fishing, boating, extraordinary views and great places to relax. Towering canyons are visible all year round with amazing waterfalls that are active in the spring and after heavy rainfall. No matter what the season is, hiking to these spectacular sights is awe inspiring. The river trails offer bluff views of the valleys and river. Whatever the season, Starved Rock is an amazing place to experience and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Looking for a bit more adventure for the day? Head over to Kayak Starved Rock and explore the water on kayaks. Single and tandem kayaks are available for rent along with safety equipment.

Head back for lunch at the Back Door Lounge at Starved Rock. Eat outside on the Veranda to continue enjoying the nice weather, or take refuge inside before you head back out! Located in Starved Rock State Park, the Lodge offers a variety of dining options that will please your family and suppress the hunger you just worked up!

If you’d rather get out of the park for lunch, Lodi Tap House is a true Illinois gem. They pride themselves on great craft beer, incredible food, and a welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy. Come in to watch a game, enjoy the music, try the rotating Illinois ONLY craft beer on tap, and eat great local food.

We don’t think sleeping will be an issue tonight! Relax for the night at Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center. The Lodge offers hotel rooms and cabins in a rustic, wooded setting with an indoor pool where the kids can play.

Day 3:

North Utica

  • Nonnies breakfast consists of savoury pancakes, bacon and eggs.

Wake up rested after a fun-filled couple of days. Before heading back towards home, make sure to fuel up at Nonie’s Bakery in North Utica. They specialize in homemade breakfast, lunch and baked goods all day.

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