Find your Real Getaway in Northwest Illinois
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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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Contact Info:

Nachusa Grasslands

2075 Lowden Road
Franklin Grove, IL 61031
Lee County
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COVID19 UPDATE:  Nachusa Grasslands is open. The public can hike in the non-fenced areas. Social distancing six feet apart is required. 


In the fall of 2014, 30 bison were relocated to the Nachusa Grasslands where they safely roam thousands of fenced-in acres. This is Illinois’ first conservation herd – not raised on a ranch for meat, but for the purpose of restoring a piece of the North American plains. The bison will be kept as wild as possible and virtually unmanaged by humans except for one day a year when they are corralled for minimal veterinary care.  

The remainder of the 3,000-acre Nachusa Grassland is open to the public for hiking, bird watching, and other activities that do not harm the natural landscape. The area is a mosaic of community types that includes dry gravel hill prairie, black oak, and bur oak savanna, calcareous fen, and seeps and sedge meadows. Owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy.

Information for visiting the Nachusa Grasslands:

• The preserve is open from dawn to dusk.
• Bison can be viewed from the public roadsides only. The bison roam across 1,500 acres of rolling land and are often not visible from the road. Binoculars are helpful. No hiking is permitted inside the fenced bison unit.
• An information kiosk is located at the visitor entrance on Lowden Road.
• You can hike on or off the trails from dawn to dusk.
• Wear long pants, sturdy shoes, and sun protection.
• Bring a bottle of water.
• A Port-a-John is located by the visitor entrance.

Additional Info

Address:
2075 Lowden Road
City:
Franklin Grove
State:
IL
Zipcode:
61031
Phone:
815-456-2340
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