eyond the borders of Starved Rock State Park, there’s even more exciting nature to explore in LaSalle County! Here are 14 other outdoor destinations you should be sure to visit on your next trip.
400 COURTNEY ST. • OTTAWA A sprawling riverfront park, located on Ottawa’s Rt. 71 that offers boat launches, docks, a riverwalk, tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic tables, toboggan run and an amphitheater.
2700 AIRPORT ROAD • PERU Baker Lake Park offers ﬁshing, picnicking, playground, shelters, restrooms, soccer ﬁeld and a 1-mile paved walking path.
2560 EAST 1251ST ROAD OTTAWA This 333-acre park offers fourteen distinct trails that run past streams, ponds and Calin’s lush river valley vegetation. If you’re a fan of horseback riding, Catlin has some of the best trails in the area for riding. Open May through November.
2997 ROUTE 71 • OTTAWA Owned by The Conservation Foundation and managed by the City of Ottawa, this 253-acre preserve is one of LaSalle County’s newest parks. Winding along the bluffs of the Fox River for nearly a mile, this park features bubbling creeks, a beautiful ravien system, expansive prairie, natural woodlands and a pioneer cemetery.
HOPALONG CASSIDY RIVER TRAIL & CANOE LAUNCH WEST MAIN STREET, ROUTE 18 STREATOR
This 0.5 mile trail parallels the ﬂowing waters of the Vermilion River. Visitors can follow the trail through a forest of mulberry, hackberry, oak and maples. Blue jays, chickadees, and woodpeckers are frequent sights for birders, while butterﬂies and dragonﬂies are commonly found along the trail’s sunnier stretches.
ROUTE 251 • MENDOTA This man-made lake, located in northern LaSalle County, is ideal for ﬁshing and light trail walking. You’ll ﬁnd ample shelters and picnic areas.
N a tu r e W a l k
complete with 6 work out stations. For the kids, there’s a playground with baby swings, regular swings and a pirate-themed jungle gym.
MITCHELL’S GROVE NATURE PRESERVE
EAST 5TH RD • LASALLE This small park is something of a geological oddity, with its unique rock formations showing evidence of glacial gouging and boulder deposits from as far north as Canada. You’ll also ﬁnd a winding creek, tall bluff outcroppings and some rare vegetation. For nonrockhounds, it’s also a popular hunting destination during deer season.
RIVERWALK & FOX RIVER PARK
MARILLA PARK RD • STREATOR
1025 ONTARIO STREET OTTAWA
Located in Streator, Marilla Park features miles of densely wooded trails, perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts and avid trail runners. Built and maintained by members of the Central Illinois Cycling Association, this is a hidden gem for cyclists, located less than a half hour south of Starved Rock State Park.
See the beauty of the Fox River from downtown Ottawa. You’ll ﬁnd a paved walking path that runs from Fox River Park all the way to the Downtown, where the Fox meets the Illinois River. At Fox River Park you’ll also ﬁnd a splash pad, 9-hole disk golf course, playground, boat launch and an excellent ﬁshing area.
SANDY FORD NATURAL AREA
OAKWOOD AVE. • OGLESBY This pet-friendly park features a ﬁshing pond and pier. You’ll also ﬁnd a 1/3 mile long walking track,
1399 NORTH 18TH ROAD STREATOR
located just off of the Vermilion River, features two creeks, a ﬂoodplain forest, dry blufﬂand forest, hill prairies, sandstone cliffs and a selection of plants more commonly found in Wisconsin or Canada.
SHABBONA COUNTY PARK 4178 CO HWY 22 | EARLVILLE
This park, located in rural Earlville, features picnic areas, open ﬁelds, rentable shelters and ﬁshing ponds and the beautiful Indian Creek. While you’re there, be sure to learn about the tragic history of this tranquil park at the historical marker located near the entrance.
SNYDER GROVE PARK
EAST 4TH ROAD | MENDOTA Located in Mendota, this 104-acre nature preserve features shelters, restrooms, picnic area and a playground. You’ll also ﬁnd a small network of hiking trails.
SPRING LAKE NATURE AREA
1413 EAST 16TH ROAD STREATOR Located 1.8 miles northwest of Streator, this 37+ acre park contains two creeks, a sandstone waterfall, an expansive large trail system, as well as some rare ﬂora and fauna!
The 200-acre Sandy Ford Preserve,
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