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!


Explore the Illinois River Road Nature Sites Select a Site below . . .

Come and experience all the nature, beauty and adventure the Illinois River Valley has to offer. Explore over 100 nature-related sites throughout the Illinois River Valley between Ottawa and Havana. Visit our gateway communities and points in-between, along the Byway and enjoy unique dining, comfortable lodging and eclectic shopping. Whether your destination lies along the Illinois River Road or the route is part of your journey, you'll love the trip!

Select a Community OR Interest below to view related points of interest along the Byway.



Co Rd 1170 N, between IL-40 & US-34, West of Buda, IL 61361
This area is made up of 911 acres of mostly unclaimed stripmining land with 15 stocked lakes of fishing. Shore access is limited in places where the shorelines drop off sudden...View Details.
Phone: (815) 454-2328
Area: Princeton
Site Access: Free
GPS: 41.32296797840, -89.72172305790 Map It!

East 1251st Road, Ottawa, IL 61350
Acquired in 1970 by the LaSalle County Conservation District, the 333-acre Catlin Park (open May-October) is a mix of bluff land oak-hickory forest, chinquapin oak savanna, ma...View Details.
Phone: (815) 434-0518
Area: Utica
Site Access: free
GPS: 41.30175, -88.91926 Map It!

#1 Dirksen Park Road, Pekin, IL 61554
This 459-acre site is comprised of oak-hickory forest and open shrubland. Running Deer Trail, an extensive hiking/mountain biking/cross country trail, runs through the park, c...View Details.
Phone: (309) 353-4319
Area: Pekin
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.60447, -89.60500 Map It!

Bittersweet Road, East Peoria, IL 61603
Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visitors can use the trails to go hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Farmdale prov...View Details.
Phone: (309) 676-4601
Area: East Peoria
GPS: 40.675887, -89.501455 Map It!

Hennepin Canal - Lock 21, West of Wyanet, IL, IL 61361
Camping is allowed along the trial at designated locations. Fires are permitted only in state installed frie grills. Class C camping is $8.00 per night, per family unit, at al...View Details.
Phone: (815) 454-2328
Area: Princeton
Site Access: Fee
GPS: 41.36412639920, -89.61369380000 Map It!

13921 W. Route 150, Brimfield, IL 61517
Jubilee College State Park is a 3,200-acre facility situated in the Illinoisan drift-plan, replete with rolling topography and the meandering Jubilee Creek. Visitors may see d...View Details.
Phone: (309) 446-3758
Area: Peoria
Site Access: free; fee please call ahead before visiting
GPS: 40.81026, -89.81385 Map It!

Route 178, Utica, IL 61373
Donated to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources by the F.W. Matthiessen family in 1943, Matthiessen State Park is comprised of nearly 2,000 acres of prairies, bluff an...View Details.
Phone: 815-667-4868
Area: Utica
Site Access: free
GPS: 41.295027,-89.025307 Map It!

#1 McNaughton Park Road, Pekin, IL 61554
McNaughton Park's 850 acres contain some of the most impressive specimens of white oak in the entire Illinois River Valley. This mix of oak savanna and old growth forests is a...View Details.
Phone: (309) 353-4319
Area: Pekin
Site Access: free, fee for equestrian stable (apr 1- nov 15)
GPS: 40.60426, -89.59933 Map It!

25799 E. CR 2300 N - Mason County Road, Forest City, IL 61532
Fifteen centuries ago, melt-waters from the last Ice Age deposited vast amounts of sand along the Illinois River valley, which have since been sculpted into massive dunes. Fol...View Details.
Phone: (309) 597-2212
Area: Havana
Site Access: fee
GPS: 40.39050, -89.87088 Map It!

Route 71 & Route 178, Utica, IL 61373
Starved Rock is one of the premier natural areas in the Midwest. There are 18 canyons cut by melting glaciers at the end of the ice age. They sparkle seasonally with waterfall...View Details.
Phone: 815-667-4726
Area: Utica
Site Access: free; fee
GPS: 41.309139, -88.988893 Map It!