The Mississippi River and surrounding natural wilderness provide some of the most beautiful scenery Illinois has to offer. For those seeking adventure, you can enjoy the view while being part of the action! Here are four outdoor adventures in Great Rivers Country for active travelers to enjoy.
Bike down the Great River Trail
This 60-mile stretch along the eastern bank of the mighty Mississippi River is a picturesque journey through the gorgeous river landscape dotted by quaint historic Illinois towns. The trail is a mixture of paved-rail trail, dedicated bike lanes, sidewalks and a stretch of road shoulder along the Great River Road. Bikers can enjoy the natural beauty of the river for miles before stopping in Moline and Rock Island for historic attractions and downtown shopping as well as riverfront dining and entertainment.
Experience the Grafton Zipline Adventures
For adrenaline junkies, nothing gets the heart racing like nearly two miles of zip lining through the towering trees with nothing but air separating your shoes from the ground below. The course accommodates adventurers of all ages, starting off with the 300-foot Baby Bear zip line, gradually leading up to the Soaring Eagle, a 2,000-foot zip line with a 250-foot descent! To unwind after all the thrills, visit nearby Aerie’s Riverview Winery for award-winning wines, al fresco dining and live music on the weekends.
Soar high above the rolling hills that encompass historic Galena in a private hot air balloon ride. From 3,000 feet up in the air, you can experience spectacular views with as many as 14 passengers in a breathtaking hour-long tour at sunrise or sunset.
Explore Pere Marquette State Park
The largest state park in Illinois, this nature lover’s paradise allows visitors to hike, bike and horseback ride through miles of woodland trails with stunning photo opportunities along the way. Cap off a relaxing day fishing and boating on the Illinois River with a picnic at the Pere Marquette Lodge.
What outdoor destinations do you visit to get away? Comment below and tell us! Check out EnjoyIllinois.com for more exciting outdoors adventures to take this summer.
-Illinois Office of Tourism