Back March 14, 2024
Travel Blog, Trip Ideas

5 Favorite Adventures in Northwest Illinois

Your adventure awaits

Northwest Illinois, a Midwest gem, offers tranquil landscapes and adventurous activities in Carroll, Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore our waterways, parks, backroads, and more. Enjoy water sports on the Rock and Mississippi Rivers or the Hennepin Canal. Soar to new heights and catch some air at the Chicago Skydiving Center in Rochelle. Bring your best frisbee-throwing talents to a 9-hole disc golf course in Dixon.

Paddle into the Heart of Northwest Illinois

The draw of paddle sports beckons guests to a water adventure in Northwest Illinois. Imagine yourself gliding over tranquil waterways while surrounded by nature. It doesn’t matter if you’re floating downriver on a tube, paddling a canoe through the calm currents, or mastering the agility of a kayak; these watery adventures provide a canvas of tranquility and excitement.

The White Pelican
201 N. 2nd Street, Oregon, IL | www.whitepelican.biz

Located in Oregon, Illinois, it is an outfitter that caters to all paddlers. Reservations are needed at least 1-2 hours in advance and can be done online for convenience. They offer self-guided trips down the National Scenic Rock River with your choice of watercraft. The Rock River is an easy-to-navigate, gentle river for people of all ages. Day and overnight trips are available. Rentals include professional tubes–individual or 2-person, single and 2-person kayaks, 17’ canoes, and stand-up paddleboards.

Rock Falls Kayak Rentals
2400 1st Avenue, Rock Falls, IL | visitrockfalls.com/rock-falls-kayak-rentals

Rock Falls Kayak Rentals opened in 2023. It is located at the Hennepin Canal Route 40 boat launch. This outfitter has partnered with “Rent.Fun”(www.rent.fun) for self-service kayak rentals. Paddles and lifejackets are included. Once you are all set, it’s a short walk to the Hennepin Canal for a day of smooth paddling. The water is quiet with barely a current on calm days, making it easy to turn around and travel back.

Tee Off with Disc Golf

Disc golf, or frisbee golf, is played on a course with nine or 18 holes, each with a designated par score. Players throw a disc (like a frisbee) into a target basket in as few throws as possible. The objective is to complete the course with the lowest total score, as in golf. The sport can be played almost year-round and is growing in popularity. Two courses are located in Dixon.

DIXON PARK DISTRICT
2 disc golf locations (see below) | www.dixonparkdistrict.com/disc-golf

Lowell Park Disc Golf
2114 Lowell Park Road, Dixon, IL

The first disc golf course was built in 2018 at Lowell Park. It is a 9-hole course that meanders along the Rock River and through the beautiful wooded landscape.

Page Park Disc Golf
1 Page Park Drive, Dixon IL

The second disc golf course was built in 2020 as a 9-hole course. In June 2020, the park expanded the course from 9 to 18 holes.

Thrillseeker alert | Skydiving and Rock Climbing

Embark on a journey where adrenaline dances with excitement—the world of extreme adventures in Northwest Illinois. These heart-pounding adventures offer visitors a combination of thrill, courage, and unforgettable experiences.

Chicagoland Skydiving Center
1207 E. Gurler Road, Rochelle, IL | www.skydivecsc.com

Experience the thrill of skydiving in Northwest Illinois. Fly through the air, feel the wind’s kiss, and behold the region’s beauty from an extraordinary vantage point. The Chicagoland Skydiving Center, located at Rochelle Municipal Airport in Rochelle, Illinois, is a top-rated facility. It boasts a hangar, charging and debrief stations, free wifi, classrooms, a gear store, a rigging loft, laundry facilities, and shower rooms. Additional amenities include an RV park, camping area, landing areas, volleyball court, bonfire pit, and the on-site Flight Deck Bar & Grill.

Rock Climbing at Mississippi Palisades State Park
16327A IL-84, Savanna, IL | dnr.illinois.gov/parks/park.mississippipalisades.html

Rock climbing in the Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savanna, Illinois, combines strategy, strength, and triumph. Experience the thrill of conquering cliffs and rock faces in this stunning location. Climbing is permitted in specific areas like the Sentinel Area, Twin Sisters, and Indian Head without check-in. Bring your own equipment, and note that permanent anchors are not allowed. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources does not maintain natural features and is not responsible for climber safety.

There’s an Adventure for Everyone

Northwest Illinois is more than just a destination—it’s an outdoor paradise waiting to be discovered, a place where adventure and tranquility coexist, and every day brings a new possibility. Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or a curious traveler, Northwest Illinois awaits you with open arms.

Our FREE 2024 Travel Guide is available! Sign up below.

Dixon's Ladies Night Out returns on April 18 from 3–8 pm! 🎉 Discover exclusive deals, delightful drinks, and dazzling prizes at various shops. Spread the word to friends and find all the details in the event listing. It's an evening you won't want to miss! 💃🍹

Go to EVENTS in our BIO link.

#visitNWillinois #enjoyillinois #middleofeverything #discoverdixon #ladiesnight #shopping #dixonIL #ShopLocal
Are you an outdoorsy or indoorsy person? Our latest blog article picks just 5 favorite outdoor adventures in #NWillinois! 🥾 Scenic hikes, 🥏 disc golf, 🪂 skydiving...pick your pleasure! 😄

Visit our travel blog section at bio link!
Can't help fallin' in love with this show! "𝗘𝗹𝘃𝗶𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗬𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀" hits @WhitePines_Resort April 17-18. Don't miss it!  Visit link in bio under "Events" for ticket info.
Immerse yourself in a slice of Dutch history, right here by the Mississippi. Standing tall, Fulton's De Immigrant Windmill is more than an engineering marvel - it's a living testament to ingenuity and tradition 🇳🇱 Ever witnessed the magic of a working windmill up close? We'd love to hear your stories! 🌾 #FultonWindmill #HistoricLandmark #VisitNWIllinois
Buckle up, folks! Your new go-to weekend activity is here with the Chicagoland Skydiving Center 🪂 Enjoy the adrenaline rush while basking in the beautiful Rochelle landscapes from above. Who's diving into this adventure with you? Tag your skydiving partner-in-crime 👯‍♂️ #SkyIsTheLimit #ChicagolandSkydiving #AdrenalineJunkies #VisitNWIllinois

TRAVEL GUIDE

Request a free copy or view our latest guide online.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Ideas and resources to help plan your next real getaway in NW Illinois.