Area Nature Guides
The Area Nature Guides will take you along The Illinois River Country
Nature Trail uniting 100+ nature-based destinations in the Illinois River Valley beginning in Princeton and ending in Havana. The trail loops showcase great places where visitors and residents alike can go to discover and experience the nature of the region. From hunting, fishing, birding, canoeing, hiking, biking, wetlands, gardens, watching wildlife, the possibilities for adventure are endless!
As it follows the Illinois River South, the trail travels through a mixture of backwater lakes, bottom-land forests, floodplain wetlands, upland forest, savanna and some of the country's last remaining tallgrass prairies. The river and these adjacent habitats provide an ideal environment for diverse birds, butterflies and other wildlife as well as numerous plant communities native to the valley. The Illinois River Country Nature Trail will guide you through the valley to some of Illinois' most treasured, natural gems. Enjoy the Area Nature Guides below. Click on each Loop for a detailed Loop Route Map, specific site descriptions, site access information, directions and more!
Experience the Area Nature Trail by learning more
about each Loop:
The Northern Loop, begins in Princeton, and includes four surrounding counties. Click on the link above for a detailed map of the Northern Loop. Princeton is the place to start your customized trip and offers so much that visitors can explore.
The Western Loop begins in Canton. Canton is rich with history and full of outdoor adventure. Click on the link above for a detailed map of the Western Loop.
The Central Loop starts on the riverfront in Peoria and continues to move through Peoria taking visitors to area landmarks from state parks to local orchards. Peoria, as the first European settlement in Illinois, is surrounded by natural beauty, character and a perfect fit for outdoor enthusiasts. Click on the Central Loop link above for a detailed map.
The Eastern Loop begins on the River Trail of Illinois in East Peoria and moves north along the Illinois River. Click on the link above for a detailed map of the Eastern Loop. East Peoria is nestled between the scenic Illinois River and forested, rolling hills and bluffs.
The South Eastern Loop begins in Pekin and the loop route continues around Tazewell County. Pekin is located along the eastern bank of the Illinois River where the scenery is beautiful and visitors can enjoy swimming, horseback riding and more. Click on the link above for a detailed map of the South Eastern Loop.
The Southern Loop begins in Havana and offers so much to do from fishing and boating to hiking and canoeing. For a detailed map of the Southern Loop click the link above. Located on the banks of the Illinois River, Havana is primarily rural, agricultural and a hotspot for nature tourists.