Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

Photo by Kylehance, Creative Commons

Illinois River Road 2 Day RV Itinerary

Image from www.byways.orgFrench Canyon Waterfall Image from www.byways.org

Day 1

Start: Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor

Along the corridor, visit places like the Marseilles Swing Bridge, the Ottawa Toll House, the Utica Museum Complex, and Lock 14 Canal. You will see spectacular views and learn a little of Illinois history along the way.

Stop 1: Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

Directions from previous place:      Go west on W. Lafayette St and turn left to go south on IL-23. Follow this road to W. Madison and turn right onto it. Follow this road until it comes to a "T". Take the road going left and follow it to N 27th Rd. Turn left onto this road and go 5 miles, until you see the Visitor's Center.
Distance from Previous Site:            8.32 miles / 13.3 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     20 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          30 minutes

Examine the displays and exhibits that portray the history of the Illinois Waterway System. Get swept up in the evolution of the areas as you travel with the Native Americans in their canoes and end with the modern river barges.

Stop 2: Starved Rock State Park

Directions from previous place:      Go west on N 27th Rd and turn left onto CR-178. Follow this road until you come to the state park.
Distance from Previous Site:          2.39 miles / 3.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        45 minutes

Travers over 18 glacier-carved canyons, along with several different nature walks and trail overlooks. Gaze at the distinctive formations as you walk along the edge of a well-maintained nature trail. Spot as many local fauna as possible.

Stop 3: Hennepin and Hopper Lakes Restoration

Directions from previous place:      Go south on IL-178 and turn right onto IL-71. Follow this road to E 651st Rd and turn left onto it. Turn right when you come to Walnut St and follow it to I-39. Take I-39 south and follow for 2 miles. Take the IL-71 exit and follow that road for 12.6 miles west toward Hennepin. Exit IL-71 onto IL-26. Follow this road south for 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Hennepin Farms Road and follow it to the restoration site.
Distance from Previous Site:           22 miles / 35.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     38 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          30 minutes

Wander the wetlands in search of local species of birds, frogs, and aquatic plants. In the spring and fall, you will see an impressive array of colors, revealed by the birds, butterflies, and vibrant wildflowers.

Stop 4: Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park

Directions from previous place:      Go north on IL-26 until the road branches left. Continue on this road as it turns west and north for 11 miles. Turn left to get onto US-6 and follow it for 12.2 miles. Turn right onto IL-40 and follow it north until you see the state park.
Distance from Previous Site:          15.18 miles / 24.3 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     40 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           1 hour

Walk through prairies filled with beautiful local plants. Stop at the visitor’s center to ask questions and see exhibits on how the canal was constructed and on the natural history of the area. Go birding, hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, picnicking, and cross country skiing, whatever suits your mood.

Stop 5: Rock Island Trail State Park

Directions from previous place:      Go south on IL-40 and follow it for 14.3 miles. Turn right onto IL-93 and then left onto CR-1. Go south on CR-1 for 7.4 miles. Turn right onto IL-17 and go 3 miles. Turn left onto N Main and follow it to Williams St. where you will find the state park.
Distance from Previous Site:          26.46 miles / 42.3 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     50 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           1 hour

Walk along the 26-mile trail that offers a wide range of outdoor activities. The part has places for hiking, biking, primitive camping. Go bird and butterfly watching or on a wildflower tour. At lunch time, have a picnic while you lounge in the tall grass.

Stop 6: William H. Sommer Park

Directions from previous place:     Go west on E. Williams St and turn left onto IL-91. Follow IL-91 for 2.8 miles south to Princeville. In Princeville turn right onto IL-90 and then left onto N. Princeville Jubilee Rd. Follow this road for 10 miles. Turn left onto US-150 and follow it foe 4 miles. Turn right onto N. Koener Rd. and follow it until you see the park.
Distance from Previous Site:           25.51 miles / 40.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     39 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          45 minutes

Join one of the many historical interpretions or outdoor education programs. See blacksmith demonstrations, an Indian PowWow, festivals, and pioneer and Civil War reenactments.

Stop 7: Wildlife Prairie State Park

Directions from previous place:      Go south on N Koerner Rd. for 2.2 miles and turn right onto W. Southport Rd. Follow this road for 3.5 miles. Turn left onto north Taylor Rd. and follow it to the state park.
Distance from Previous Site:            6.67 miles / 10.7 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     13 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          1 hour 30 minutes

Meet native Illinois animals like bison, black bears, otter, and cougars. Join one of the visitors center’ free educational programs to learn more about the land and animals.

End: Peoria RiverFront

Directions from previous place:      Go north on N. Taylor Rd and merge onto I-74 going east. Follow this road for 11.3 miles, then take the exit to US-24. Turn right onto Washington St. and then left onto Main St. Turn right onto SW Water St. and follow it along the riverfront.
Distance from Previous Site:           15 miles / 24.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     18 minutes

Discover the richness and diversity of the riverfront. Indulge in the cultural, entertainment, dining, shopping, residential, historical and recreational attractions. Join the locals at their many popular public festivals and fairs.

Totals for Day 1

Total Distance Traveled:     121.53 miles / 194.4 km
Total Travel Time:               3 hours 43 minutes
Total Stopping Time:           6 hours

Day 2

Stop 1: East Peoria Riverfront Greenway

Directions from previous place:      Go northeast on SW Water St and turn left onto Hamilton Blvd. Turn right onto Adams St, left on Spalding, left on Fayette St, then merge onto I-74 E. Exit onto N Main St. Follow this road for 2.4 miles and turn left onto Mariners Way, where you will find the Riverfront Greenway.
Distance from Previous Site:           5.2 miles / 8.3 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

Walk along East Peoria's Riverfront Greenway and stop at 3 observation decks, which overlook multiple wetlands. Try out the informal hiking path and a charming wooden "learning station" perched on the hillside.

Stop 2: Dirksen Park

Directions from previous place:      Go east on Mariners Way and turn right onto N. Main St. Follow this road for 8 miles. Turn left onto Edgewater Dr. and follow it for 1.4 miles, until you see Dirksen Park.
Distance from Previous Site:           9.8 miles / 15.7 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     17 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          30 minutes

Try out Running Deer Trail, which runs through a majority of the park, crossing several cobble-bottomed brooks and creeks. Watch out for the natural birds that make this area a birder’s paradise.

Stop 3: Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

Directions from previous place:      Go west on Edgewater Dr. Turn left turn IL-29 and go south for 5.2 miles. Turn right onto Manito Rd and follow it for 10.3 miles. Turn right onto Spring Lake Rd. and follow it until you see the Fish and Wildlife Area.
Distance from Previous Site:           20.18 miles / 32.3 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     40 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

Take advantage of the hiking trails to spot the bird, insect, and plant life associated with the site. This area is one of the best for waterfowl enthusiasts.

Stop 4: Banner Marsh Fish and Wildlife Area

Directions from previous place:      Go east on Spring Lake Rd and turn left to go north on Manito Rd. Follow this road for 10.3 miles, and then turn left onto IL-29. Follow IL-29 for 2.7 miles. Turn left onto IL-9, and then left again onto US-24. Follow this road for 16.8 miles, until you see the Fish and Wildlife Area.
Distance from Previous Site:          34.03 miles / 54.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     52 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

Look for the unique birds and local wildflowers in the area. In the summer, enjoy the American lotus water lily, its pastel-yellow blooms float gently on top of the lake.

Stop 5: Emiquon TNC Preserve & National Wildlife Refuge

Directions from previous place:      Go southwest on US-24 for 10.5 miles. Turn left onto IL-78 and follow it for 3.5 miles, until you come to the Wildlife Refuge.
Distance from Previous Site:          14.09 miles / 22.5 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     16 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           1 hour

As you walk along the trails, you may see hundreds of the region’s mammal, bird, butterfly, and fish species. You may even spy some of Illinois' rarest organisms, including the river otter, paddlefish, and western ribbon snake. If you have a spotting scope, carefully peruse these newly flooded lands for sandpipers and other shorebirds, especially during spring and fall migration periods.

End: Dickson Mounds Museum

Directions from previous place:      Go west on CR-31. After 1.5 miles, the road will become N. Dickson Mounds Rd. Follow this road until you see the museum.
Distance from Previous Site:          1.77 miles / 2.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     3 minutes

Walk around the site of an ancient civilization. Inside the museum, explore facts about the early Indians, whose villages and burial grounds surround the facility. Also inside the museum, peruse the hands-on discovery center, resource center, gift shop, and coffee shop.

Totals for Day 2

Total Distance Traveled:     85.07 miles / 136.1 km
Total Travel Time:                2 hours 18 minutes
Total Stopping Time:            2 hours 30 minutes

Featured content and image from www.byways.org

rv rental usa | rv rental canada | campervan hire australia | campervan hire new zealand | campervan hire south africa |