Illinois – Great Outdoors

Illinois is your playground

With magnificent state parks, lush forests, miles of trails for hiking and biking, and mighty rivers, Illinois is your playground.

At Garden of the Gods, hike through dramatic rock formations, perched atop large rolling hills with spectacular views of the forest. These natural wonders don’t just offer great views of the forest below, they also make for fantastic selfies.

Situated on the Mississippi River, Pere Marquette State Park offers a diverse experience in southern Illinois. At 8,000 acres, Pere Marquette is the largest state park in Illinois. Hike miles of wooded trail, bicycle along river bluffs, take a boat out for fishing or horseback ride through the serene forest. As a frequent nesting spot for migrating bald eagles, this is also the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of the legendary national bird.

Starved Rock’s hiking trails meander through towering trees, scenic overlooks and beautiful rock formations. Choose from the moderately difficult East Hike for dramatic views of the park’s many gorges. Or take the West Hike for a series of stunning vistas from the wooded bluffs and rocky cliffs above the Illinois River. You can also canoe, paddle-boat or cross-country ski during the winter.

Top outdoor adventure areas in Illinois:
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Shawnee National Forest
  • Starved Rock