From the shores of Lake Michigan to the trails of the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois has outstanding outdoor recreation
From the shores of Lake Michigan to the trails of the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois has outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities for enthusiasts who enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, biking, boating, hunting, fishing, bird watching or sightseeing.
Chicago and Beyond
In the northeast portion of the state, outdoor hotspots include Matthiessen State Park in Utica, Buffalo Rock State Park in Ottawa, Cantigny Park in Wheaton and Blackberry Farm’s Pioneer Village in Aurora. At Starved Rock State Park in Utica, be sure to look for bald eagles while you enjoy your adventure outing.
Land of Lincoln
The central sector of Illinois features a variety of vibrant outdoor destinations that include Lake Shelbyville, Lake Decatur, Kickapoo State Park Campgrounds in Oakwood and Walnut Point State Park in Oakland. At Moraine View State Park Recreation Area in Carlock, there are 137 trailer campsites and 32 primitive backpack sites, as well as boat launches and fishing docks.
Great River Country
Spanning the entire western portion of the state along the Mississippi River, feel free to experience amazing outdoor venues such as Wildlife Prairie State Park in Hanna City, Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Timber Lake Resort in Mount Carroll, and Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge in Brussels. Argyle Lake State Park in Colchester features a 95-acre fishing and boating lake along with five miles of hiking and biking trails.
Trails to Adventure
The southern portion of Illinois offers scenic outdoor getaways such as Garden of the Gods in Karbers Ridge, Giant City State Park in Makanda and Cache River State Natural Area in Belknap. Avid hikers should schedule a visit to Shawnee National Forest and its Little Grand Canyon in Murphysboro, where a 3.6-mile loop trail leads to magnificent views of the Missouri bluffs across the Mississippi River.