Where is the Illinois River Road?
Traversing both east and west sides of the Illinois River from Ottawa, 150 miles south to Havana, the Illinois River Road has spurs to the communities of Princeton and Canton. The Illinois River Road corridor has over 100 natural and historic sites and numerous unique communities located throughout its 10-county region.
The Scenic Byway is conveniently located between Chicago and St. Louis, but just far enough to get away from it all. So get off the beaten path and see what the Illinois River Road has in store for you!
Once used as a proving ground for Caterpillar Inc., this 340-acre site is a model for ecological restoration. Plantings of trees, prairie grasses and forbs are maturing beautifully. One positive indicator of ecological progress is the presence of breeding Acadian Flycatcher, a neotropical songbird that prefers a closed-canopy forests. The nature trail at Independence Park is a great place for viewing both forest and prairie birds, as well as that lucky glimpse of the wide array of Illinois wildlife, deer, coyotes, and foxes. Spring (May-June) and fall (September-October) are also peak times to catch the neotropical songbird migration.
GPS: 40.61998, -89.60250 Site Access: free; hrs: 6am-10pm