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.



 


 

North of US-136 on Rt 97/78, East of Havana, IL 62644
Nature Trail...View Details.
Phone: (309) 535-2290
Area: Havana
Site Access: Free
GPS: 40.30535893670, -90.08522983710 Map It!

1300 N. 27th Street, Ottawa, IL 61350
So named because (legend has it) the area once served as a “blind canyon” where Indians ran buffalo for capture, this 298-acre park has long been a natural favorite. Much of B...View Details.
Phone: (815) 433-2220
Area: Utica
Site Access: free; dawn to dusk
GPS: 41.32697, -88.91006 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!

19031 E CR 2110N, Havana, IL 62644
Owned and operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this 4,480-acre site contains elements of several habitats: Oak-hickory forest, riparian forest, floodplain shrub, mars...View Details.
Phone: (309) 535-2290
Area: Havana
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.36270, -89.98904 Map It!

North Galena Road (Route 29), Peoria, IL
Peoria Park District's 740-acre Detweiller Park is a popular multi-use destination for folks who enjoy golfing, soccer, volleyball, hiking, birding, fishing, and boating. Detw...View Details.
Phone: (309) 681-2902
Area: Peoria
GPS: 40.78904, -89.59216 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!

112641 3065 E Street, Spring Valley, IL 61362
What was once a booming mining town founded in 1877, Echo Bluff is located in Hall Township, between Spring Valley and DePue. Now historic Echo Bluff is home to a challenge co...View Details.
Phone: (815) 447-2115
Area: Spring Valley
GPS: 41.3279419, -89.2647705 Map It!

State Rt. 78/97 , Lewistown, IL 61542
Derived from an Indian name for ...View Details.
Phone: (309) 535-2290
Area: Lewistown
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.30547, -90.08533 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!

5809 N. Forest Park Drive, Peoria , IL 61614
Seven miles of hiking trails traverse bluff forestland and a restored prairie through this designated state nature preserve. Over 100 woodland bird species use the park as mig...View Details.
Phone: (309) 686-3360
Area: Peoria
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.75701, -89.57480 Map It!

2218 N. Prospect Road, Peoria , IL 61603
Designed by the legendary gardener Oscar F. Dubuis and dedicated in 1896, Glen Oak Park is the focal point of northeastern Peoria and home to the Peoria Park District headquar...View Details.
Phone: (309) 681-2902
Area: Peoria
Site Access: free; fee
GPS: 40.71707, -89.57568 Map It!

Grandview Drive & Route 29, Peoria, IL 61603
Named the "World's Most Beautiful Drive" by Theodore Roosevelt when he visited Peoria on October 10, 1910, Grandview Drive Grand View is revered as one of the most beautiful d...View Details.
Phone: 309-681-2902
Area: Peoria
GPS: 40.4331, -89.3314 Map It!

16006 875 East Street, Sheffield, IL 61361
The Hennepin Canal was originally conceived in 1890 as part of an overall plan to connect the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico in order to facilitate barge shipping. The prob...View Details.
Phone: 815-454-2328
Area: Princeton
Site Access: free; fee
GPS: 41.37322, -89.68957 Map It!

A multi-use trail that stretches 104.5 miles and spans five counties....View Details.
Phone: (815) 454-2328
Area: Princeton
Site Access: Free
GPS: 41.28795234480, -89.37375380050 Map It!

A multi-use trail that stretches 104.5 miles and spans five counties....View Details.
Phone: (815) 454-2328
Area: Princeton
Site Access: Free
GPS: 41.40132995540, -89.85655111020 Map It!

West Main Street, Streator, IL 61364
This 0.5-mile trail parallels the swift-flowing, translucent green waters of the Vermilion River in the town of Streator, which is home to Clyde Tombaugh, the only U.S. citize...View Details.
Phone: (815) 672-2055
Area: Streator
Site Access: free
GPS: 41.11881, -88.84030 Map It!

Highway Route 351, LaSalle, IL 60441
French explorer/cartographer Louis Jolliet first suggested the construction of a canal connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River (via the Illinois River) in 1673, bu...View Details.
Phone: (815) 223-1851
Area: Utica
Site Access: free; fee
GPS: 41.329131,-89.095001 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!

1500 N. Park Road, Peoria, IL 61604
Established in the late 19th century, the 140-acre Laura Bradley Park is the centerpiece of Peoria's University District. Operated by the Peoria Park District, this large park...View Details.
Phone: 309-681-2902
Area: Peoria
Site Access: free; 7am-11pm
GPS: 40.70947, -89.62457 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!

16006-875 East Street, Sheffield, IL 61361
Approaching 900 acres in size, Mautino State Fish & Wildlife Area is comprised of a restored strip mine which has attracted a vibrant community of plants and animals to its fo...View Details.
Phone: 815-454-2328
Area: Princeton
Site Access: free
GPS: 41.32332, -89.71890 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!

Bureau/Putnam County Line, DePue, IL 61322
Dedicated in 1969, the 340-acre Miller-Anderson Nature Preserve contains a variety of natural communities, dominated by old-growth oak-hickory bluff forests and maple-basswood...View Details.
Area: DePue
Site Access: free
GPS: 41.23922, -89.40031 Map It!

East 5th Road, Utica, IL 61373
Mitchell's Grove Nature Preserve is a 184-acre wooded site donated to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in 1998 by William H. and Irene Mitchell. The Mitchell famil...View Details.
Area: Utica
Site Access: free
GPS: 41.37635, -89.06792 Map It!

Water Street on the Peoria Riverfront, Peoria, IL 61602
Graced with attractions and venues for people of all ages and all walks of life, the Peoria RiverFront District has cultural, entertainment, dining, antiquing, residential, hi...View Details.
Phone: (309) 671-5555
Area: Peoria
GPS: 40.687526, -89.591571 Map It!

US Route 24, Canton , IL 61520
An officially designated Important Birding Area, this complex of wetlands is composed of 5,660 acres with shallow floodplain lakes and bottomland forest habitats. Spring and f...View Details.
Phone: (309) 647-9184
Area: Canton
Site Access: free; fee
GPS: 40.461952,-89.934597 Map It!

201 Veterans Drive, East Peoria, IL 61611
Planned to run from East Peoria to Morton, phase I of this 10-foot wide hard-surfaced hiking/biking trail was completed in 1991, running 4.8 miles north and east out of East P...View Details.
Phone: (309) 699-3923
Area: East Peoria
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.66422, -89.56439 Map It!

Mossville Road, Peoria, IL 61603
This wild, undeveloped 680-acre park has several narrow, informal paths that lace the site, along with a substantial segment of the better-developed Pimiteoui Trail. The park...View Details.
Phone: (309) 681-2902
Area: Peoria
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.82097, -89.59724 Map It!

Alta Lane, Peoria, IL 60491
Soon to be linked into Downtown Peoria, this hiking/biking rails-to-trails park offers a leisurely day of birding through a surprising array of habitats, from mature forest to...View Details.
Phone: 309-695-2228
Area: Peoria
Site Access: free; fee for camping
GPS: 40.81296, -89.62976 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!

3594 CR 200 N, Chandlerville, IL 62627
With numerous floodplain lakes, sloughs, bottomland forests, both tallgrass prairie and sand prairie, this site offers incredible diversity within its 10,360 acres. The site i...View Details.
Phone: (309) 546-2628
Area: Havana
Site Access: free
GPS: 40.09179, -90.29187 Map It!

Singing Woods Road, Peoria, IL 61603
For centuries native people have benefited from the diversity of this rich woodland, today the Peoria area benefits from the preservation of this exceptional 700-acre nature p...View Details.
Phone: 309-686-3360
Area: Peoria
GPS: 40.859025, -89.603648 Map It!

1413 E. 16th Street, Streator, IL 61364
This small city park is an amazing gem for wildlife of all kinds, but especially birds! The park contains spring-fed creeks, a beautiful sandstone cliff formation with a water...View Details.
Phone: (815) 343-3774
Area: Streator
GPS: 41.134452,-88.862185 Map It!

7982 South Park Road, Manito, IL 61546
Once the main channel of the Illinois River, Spring Lake is now geologically classified as a “meander scar, an abandoned channel of the river. Guarded by a high sandstone bluf...View Details.
Phone: (309) 968-7135
Area: Manito
GPS: 40.44281, -89.89162 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!

Hennepin Farms Road and Route 26, Hennepin, IL 60604
The historic - but now rare - Illinois landscape of backwater lakes, wetlands, prairies, fens, and seeps now flourishes on former corn and soybean fields along the Illinois Ri...View Details.
Phone: (312) 922-0777
Area: Princeton
Site Access: free; dawn-dusk
GPS: 41.21619, -89.32144 Map It!

5774 Broadway, Pekin, IL
At just 40 acres, Tante Park is one of the quietest and most secluded of Pekin's natural area parks. Its Woodland Wildflower Trail runs along a creek bank, and past many old g...View Details.
Phone: (309) 353-4319
Area: Pekin
Site Access: free; hrs: 6am - 10pm
GPS: 40.56799, -89.52054 Map It!

State Route 78/97, Lewistown, IL 61542
TNC has embarked on one of the largest wetland restoration projects in the U.S. Beneath the nearly 7,000 acres of plowed cropland was a dormant seed bank of prairie, hardwood ...View Details.
Phone: (309) 547-2730
Area: Lewistown
GPS: 40.35838, -90.08587 Map It!

6329 Koerner Road, Edwards, IL 61528
Owned and operated by the Peoria Park District, William H. Sommer Park is primarily a reservation-only facility for private groups from April through October. However, this se...View Details.
Phone: 309-691-8423
Area: Peoria
Site Access: fee; reservation only
GPS: 40.76948, -89.68941 Map It!

Routes 29 and 17, Sparland, IL 61520
This 41-acre wetland restoration project was initiated by Ducks Unlimited and then turned over to IDNR. In addition to its benefit to migrating waterfowl, the Wightman Lake p...View Details.
Phone: (309) 246-8351
Area: Peoria
GPS: 41.022585, -89.437294 Map It!