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!


Nature Sites In and Around Ottawa

The Pleistocene epoch went out with a bang in northern Illinois as the southern shore of "Lake Chicago" gave way, sending an untold volume of glacial melt water barreling along the young Illinois River. The result? One of the most ornate river valleys in all of the Midwest, carved 125 feet deep into an 80-mile stretch of Paleozoic bedrock. Visual evidence of this incredible event exists in the sheer sandstone bluffs which line the southern bank and accompanying tributaries of the Illinois River between the towns of Marseilles and Utica. The best examples of these can found at Illini, Matthiessen, Buffalo Rock and starved Rock State Parks. For the best view of Starved Rock itself, visit the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. While touring the loop, be sure to visit Catlin County Park, which hosts one of the best remaining chinquapin oak savannas in the state.

IRR Mobile Site

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Illinois Scenic Byways

Illinois Scenic Byways

Illinois River Road Report

Illinois River Road Report

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Your search generated 3 listing(s).

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!

Rt 1, 950 N 27th Road, Ottawa, IL 61350
Located at the Starved Rock Lock & Dam, the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center is owned and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps maintains the lock and dam sys...View Details.
Phone: 815-667-4054
Area: Utica
Site Access: free
GPS: 41.32515, -88.98606 Map It!