The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway is rich in cultural heritage from Native Americans, French explorers, American settlers, and immigrants who were drawn to the Illinois River, with all of its rich resources. Nature lovers will be thrilled to explore the abundant wetlands, prairies, woodlands, lakes, and wildlife habitats, by visiting some of the most ambitious conservation and wetland restoration projects in the country. Hiking, biking, hunting, fishing and boating, birding or wildlife watching—it’s everywhere on the Byway.
For those who like to find the hidden treasures of small, authentic communities off the beaten path or interstate, the six Gateway communities and smaller Portal communities along the Byway are truly a find. Historic downtown districts, monuments, churches and buildings, local lore, and proud heritage all combine to make each city of the Byway a unique place to stay, eat, and shop.
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