Find your Real Getaway in Northwest Illinois
Map of NW Illinois
Welcome to NW Illinois

100 miles due west of Chicago lie the rolling hills, old growth forests and the pristine rivers of the Blackhawk Waterways in Northwest Illinois. With its quaint cabins and darling bed & breakfasts, it's the perfect weekend getaway in Illinois. Every mile is steeped in history, surrounded by outdoor beauty and dotted with charming villages. The Blackhawk Waterways is what your vacation getaway looks like...
In Real Life.

John Deere

Historic Site

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photo: Jack Hughes

Mississippi Palisades

State Park

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photo: Jack Hughes

Nachusa Grasslands

Bison Herd

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De Immigrant Windmill

working windmill

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Featured
Ogle County

White Pines State Park

6712 West Pines Road
Mt Morris, IL 61054
The 385-acre park is perfect for family getaways to enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and picnicking. With serene, picturesque beauty, and…
Featured
Whiteside County

Hennepin Canal State Parkway

209 Emmons Ave
Rock Falls, IL 61071
The Hennepin Feeder Canal extends from Rock Falls to Sheffield IL. The Hennepin Canal Feeder opens the door to the…
Featured
Ogle County

Castle Rock State Park

Illinois Route 2 South
Oregon, IL
Castle Rock State Park is located three miles south of Oregon on Highway 2. The 2,000-acre park includes rock formations,…
Featured
Lee County

Nachusa Grasslands

2075 Lowden Road
Franklin Grove, IL 61031
Illinois' first conservation bison herd In the fall of 2014, 30 bison were relocated to the Nachusa Grasslands, where they…
Featured
Carroll County

Mississippi Palisades State Park

16327A IL Route 84
Savanna, IL
Palisades is the word used to describe a line of lofty, steep cliffs usually seen along a river, and Mississippi…
Ogle County

Howard Colman Hall Creek Preserve

12749 Weldon Road
Rockford, IL
Located in the northeast corner of Ogle County, this 321-acre preserve operated by the Byron Forest Preserve District features rolling…
Ogle County

Bald Hill Preserve

5502 North Silver Creek Road
Mt Morris, IL 61054
 A 380 acre preserve offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.  Several rare gravel hill prairie and savanna plants can…
Ogle County

Edward F. Vassallo Land & Water Reserve

7578 W Pines Rd
Mt Morris, IL 61054
The Edward F. Vassallo Land and Water Reserve is a privately owned reserve located adjacent to White Pines State Forest. …
Lee County

Lowell Park

2114 Lowell Park Road
Dixon, IL 61021
Lowell Park encompasses 240 acres along the Rock River and includes the Ruth Edwards Nature Center, rest rooms, parking, boat…
Ogle County

He-Leo Two Rivers Preserve

Adjacent to Rockvale Twp Bldg IL Rt 2
Byron, IL 61010
 The He-Leo Two Rivers Preserve adjoins a previously owned property called the He-Leo Preserve.  The entrance is adjacent to the…
Whiteside County

Big Bend State Fish & Wildlife Area

12010 Vandamme Rd
Prophetstown, IL 61277
Located in Whiteside County, 4 miles west of Prophetstown, Big Bend contains 1,188 acres. It's open for hunting, hiking, and…
Ogle County

Lowden State Park

1411 North River Road
Oregon, IL
 One of the most picturesque sites along the Rock River is just north of Oregon in Ogle County. This 207-acre state park has restrooms, hiking…
Ogle County

Lowden-Miller State Forest

Nashua Road
Oregon, IL
2,225-acre state forest with miles of scenic marked trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-county skiing. Hunting.
Ogle County

Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve

7993 North River Road
Byron, IL 61010
The Byron Forest Preserve District was founded in 1980 to protect 120 acres of rare dolomite prairie at this preserve.…
Lee County

Green River State Wildlife Area

375 Game Road
Harmon, IL
2,565 acres, restrooms, parking, dump station, camping, hiking, horse trails, and hunting.   Hunting information --> https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Activity/Pages/GreenRiver.aspx The Green River State…
Lee County

Franklin Creek State Natural Area

1872 Twist Road
Franklin Grove, IL
This 664-acre nature preserve and park offer a variety of recreational opportunities: hiking (4.5 miles of trails), an equestrian area that…
Carroll County
55,000 total acres: fishing, canoeing, hiking, biking, boat launches and wildlife/bird observation area. Don't miss the Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center…
Whiteside County

RKR & Associates Arboretum

9585 Henry Road
Morrison, IL
This seven-acre mini arboretum has over 250 varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials. The landscape architect owner has also planted…

NW Illinois Travel Blog

- Latest Post -

  • Winter Fun in the Blackhawk Waterways

    November 28, 2022
    Summer had to end The summer of 2022 was enjoyable around here, and the fall was fabulous. Enjoying the outdoors with friends and family is addictive. It doesn't have to end when our furnaces start to growl. Many people don't think of northwest Illinois as a winter vacation destination, but…
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