Where is the Illinois River Road?
Traversing both east and west sides of the Illinois River from Ottawa, 150 miles south to Havana, the Illinois River Road has spurs to the communities of Princeton and Canton. The Illinois River Road corridor has over 100 natural and historic sites and numerous unique communities located throughout its 10-county region.

The Scenic Byway is conveniently located between Chicago and St. Louis, but just far enough to get away from it all. So get off the beaten path and see what the Illinois River Road has in store for you!


Princeton Photos
Princeton Kiosk

Ottawa PhotosExperience the Princeton Gateway Along the
Illinois River Road

Come say hello to Princeton sometime. Whether you're visiting for a day, a week or a lifetime, Princeton welcomes you. But, we're much more than just friendly; we've got a flare for the arts. Every summer, Princeton plays host to Illinois' largest summer festival, Festival 56. Each season brings a new array of exceptional comedies, musicals and theater classics, plus free outdoor performances of Shakespeare.

Princeton also has an interesting and quirky history dating back to 1831. The Owen Lovejoy Homestead, a stop on the underground railroad, still stands today on the eastern edge of town. Rev. Lovejoy, a dynamic and passionate abolitionist, occupied the Homestead from 1838-1864. He was a sponsor of the bill that would later become the Emancipation Proclamation.

Our famous Red Covered Bridge was built in 1863. This historic bridge crosses the Big Bureau Creek and is part of the Peoria-Galena Trail.

Speaking of trails, Princeton is the crossroads for the Ronald Reagan Trail, the Galena Trail, Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway, Amtrak and Interstate 80 which alludes to how easily accessible Princeton is from points North, South, East, and West.

Shopping in Princeton is relaxing, friendly, diverse and enticing enough to put a dent in your credit card. Our wonderfully walkable, old-fashioned Main Street offers two and a half miles of terrific shopping at more than 50 stores.

Come to Princeton and discover the way life should be.

Below are links to Princeton Gateway resources to assist you in planning your journey.

Begin your journey with a stop at the Illinois River Road informational kiosk, located at the corner of Routes 6 and 24 in front of the Princeton Public Library.

Princeton Itineraries

Below are PDF files containing predefined itineraries for the Princeton Gateway area. Please download and print these helpful guides for your journey. Each itinerary requires the use of the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader software available here.

Princeton Maps

Below are links to Princeton Gateway PDF maps to assist you in planning your journey. PDF maps require the use of the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader software available here.

Princeton Resources

For additional information about the Princeton area: