Back February 7, 2024
Travel Blog, Trip Ideas

Unwrap NW Illinois’ Sweet Adventure | The Blackhawk Chocolate Trail

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

We’re calling all chocoholics! The Blackhawk Chocolate Trail is a delight for your taste buds and is in the heart of Northwest Illinois’ counties of Carroll, Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside. This self-guided tour is more than just a list of candy shops; it’s a fun trip through cute towns, supporting small businesses, and–of course, lots of delicious treats. The trail offers something for every chocolate lover, from hand-crafted truffles to whimsical candies and classic ice cream. Indulge in the decadent, dark chocolate sweets at Colonial Flowers in Rochelle, or savor the playful flavors of The Little Chocolatier in Sterling.  

Unwrap a World of Chocolate, County by County

The Chocolate Trail region is conveniently located from the east, west, north, or south. It is less than 90 minutes from Chicagoland and has access from I-80, I-88, US 20, and I-39. While in the area, take a journey on the sweet side and experience a chocolate escape in real-time in Northwest Illinois. From candy stores and gift shops to cafes and bakeries, there are plenty of locations to choose from.

Baker Street in Dixon, IL

Some tasty highlights

This was hard. Picking just a few of our chocolate businesses to highlight is not something we want to do again. Alright. Let’s begin.

Baker Street is a cafe, coffee roaster, and bakery in historic downtown Dixon. Its sweet treats are known far and wide. Baker Street also serves freshly roasted organic and fair trade coffee, fresh soups, and sandwiches. Need a cake for a special event? Baker Street bakes custom cakes for weddings, birthdays, retirements, and more. 

Hazel’s Cafe in Oregon, IL

Hazel’s Cafe makes you want to cozy up in a booth and unwind—the perfect relaxing spot in downtown Oregon. You’ll find breakfast, lunch, juice drinks, teas, and gourmet coffee blends among the chocolates, nuts, caramels, and other familiar favorites.

The Hickory Hideaway Cabins in Shannon offers cozy cabins and Chocolate Indulgences packages for those spending a night or two in Northwest Illinois. During a cabin booking, guests can request a chocolate specialty, like gourmet chocolate Smores, to be created and enjoyed over a campfire. 

Krumpets Bakery & Cafe in Fulton, IL

In Fulton, Krumpets Bakery & Cafe offers all kinds of decadent pastries, the favorites of which are chocolate-inspired. Their coffees and hot chocolate temper the chocoholic’s fix when paired with eclairs, cakes, and cookie bars. The restaurant serves tasty lunches to fuel your chocolate trail adventures.

Aurelios Bake Shop in Sterling, IL

Beyond the Bites

There’s more to the Blackhawk Chocolate Trail than chocolate. Every stop along the way is a chance to learn more about what makes Northwest Illinois unique. Explore Oregon’s historic streets, marvel at the natural beauty of White Pines Forest State Park, or take in Dixon’s lively arts scene. You can try craft beers and wines from the area, look around in cute shops, and find secret gems you wouldn’t usually find on a map.

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Hickory Hideaway Cabins in Shannon, IL

Plan Your Sweet Escape

The Blackhawk Chocolate Trail is perfect for a day trip, a weekend getaway, or even a more extended adventure. The official website provides detailed information on participating businesses, suggested itineraries, and special events. Whether traveling solo, with friends, or with family, the trail offers a fun and memorable experience for all ages.

So, what are you waiting for? Lace-up your walking shoes, grab your sweet tooth, and embark on a delicious adventure on the Blackhawk Chocolate Trail. You’ll be whisked away to a world of pure chocolate bliss, with charming towns and hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

The right place, right time. Kudos to #SteveToole of @mr2elart Photography for catching this oncoming storm across the @Nachusa Grasslands! 

#VisitNWIllinois #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois @enjoyillinois #visitleecountyil @visitleecountyil
🌞🎶 Ready for a weekend of fun in NW Illinois? Check out these events:

June 20: 🦅 𝗚𝗼𝗹𝗳 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗕𝗶𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀 & 🎸 𝗗𝗶𝘅𝗼𝗻'𝘀 𝗦𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗿𝘁
June 21: 🎷 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗿𝗲 in Dixon & 🌊 𝗥𝗼𝗰𝗸 𝗙𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘀' 𝗦𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘀𝗵 (continues on Saturday!  Grab your friends and family and join us for an unforgettable time! 🌟 

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FB: Calling all #nature enthusiasts and #birding in #ThompsonIL, on a silent golf cart ride, spotting birds, plants, and flitting butterflies along the way!

The deets:
🦅Tours run from 8 AM to 10 AM, perfect for those morning birdies! ⏰ dates!)
Happening every 1st & 3rd Thursday + 3rd Saturday from Spring to late Summer (May - September)
🦅This is your chance to experience the refuge like never before—all for FREE! Don't miss out – register today! 
🦅Spots are limited (7 only!), so register ASAP! [Link in bio!] ➡️
🦅This is your chance to experience the refuge like never before – all for FREE! Don't miss out – register today!
🦅Happening every 1st & 3rd Thursday + 3rd Saturday from Spring to late Summer (May to September)

#birding #birdingtours #enjoyillinois #GolfCartBirding #WildlifeAdventure #FreeEvents  #GetOutside #VisitNWillinois #middleofeverything @enjoyillinois @visitcarrollcounty
This Father's Day, create special moments in NW Illinois. 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 your adventures with us using #𝗙𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗗𝗮𝘆𝗜𝗻𝗡𝗪𝗜𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗼𝗶𝘀!"
https://swiy.co/NEot

#VisitNWillinois #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois
Nothing beats freshly brewed coffee, locally made macaroons, or an iced drink on a hot Friday morning! ☕️✨ Check out @CoffeeCrushDixon for a cozy start to your day. 👉👉 𝗕𝗢𝗡𝗨𝗦: The annual nesting of Mama Duck on the property provided 16 ducklings this year! 

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Here's a sneak peek of what's coming up this weekend in #NWillinois! Lots of art and music, plus a carnival to keep everyone happy. Go to our EVENTS CALENDAR at bio link for a complete listing of things to do.

#VisitNWillinois #middleofeverything @enjoyillinois #enjoyillinois @visitleecountyil @discoverdixon
Bring the kids to #FultonIL to see the amazing De Immigrant Windmill and explore Wierenga’s Heritage Canyon. History and heritage, NW Illinois has it all. 🌾🪨

 #VisitNWIllinois @VisitFulton @enjoyillinois #middleofeverything
It's #roadtrip adventure in 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝘆! 🚗 Whether it's an invigorating paddle on the 𝗛𝗲𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗽𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗹 🛶, finding antique treasures at 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘄𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗔𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀 & 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀🏺, hitting the 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗥𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗕𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗹 all around #FultonIL 🚴‍♂️, or avoiding singed eyebrows when ordering the Forest Inn Restaurant & Lounge's Saganaki 🔥. #OPA! 🎉

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