Byway Story - Commerce & Recreation

People depend upon the region's natural bounty for their livelihood, for beauty, and for recreation.

River Park in HavanaMany seek out the region's outstanding recreational opportunities, from biking and hiking on rail trails to camping and picnicking at the valley's many state sites. Along the Scenic Byway, one can immerse themselves in the outdoors-watching wildlife, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and boating-or discover the region's cultural history at area museums, historic sites, and visitor centers. The valley's natural areas also offer important opportunities for relaxation, solitude, and quiet contemplation. Recreation and tourism have emerged as important contributors to the regional economy.

As they have for more than 12 thousand years, people continue to earn their livelihoods from the natural wealth of the Illinois River Valley. Enormous fields of corn and soybeans blanket the landscape. Family farms grow grapes, trees, native plants, herbs and ornamental plants. In summer and autumn, roadside stands offer fresh produce to travelers.

Visit the Illinois River Road sites below to experience how the Illinois River Valley offers extensive opportunities for recreation and renewal, and how the rich natural resources of the Illinois River Valley provide a livelihood for many residents.

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  • Heritage Farmers Market

    Featuring all natural, locally raised and grown Illinois products: farm fresh milk, Angus beef, pork, chicken, eggs, turkey, breads, cheeses, wine, fruits and vegetables, honey, jams and jellies, homem Read more [...]

  • Barto Landing

    Fishermen are in their glory in the Illinois Valley. Northern pike, walleye, sauger and smallmouth bass are among numerous varieties of fish that frequent the Illinois River. Popular among area fishing Read more [...]

  • Bistro 101

    Written up in Midwest Living magazine, this casual fine dining restaurant is a culinary delight located in an historic, renovated hotel in downtown Canton. Listen to live music in The Parlor lounge whi Read more [...]

  • Bluhaven Farm

    Numerous varieties of home grown popcorn. Produce available at farm stand and at Peoria Heights Farm Market and Peoria Riverfront Market

  • Boggio’s Orchard

    Just outside of Granville, Illinois in the little community of Mark, Denise and Keith Boggio operate Boggio’s Little Mountain Orchard. Both children of produce marketing families, the Boggios gro Read more [...]

  • Camp Wokanda

    Camp Wokanda, acquired from W.D. Boyce Council of the Boy Scouts of America, offers a beautiful 316-acre woodland setting, including a lake for fishing. The camp, with dining hall, sleeping cabins, pro Read more [...]

  • Canton Farmers Market

    Every Saturday, June through September, the Canton Main Street Farmers Market is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., offering farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, cut flowers, honey, baked goods Read more [...]

  • Chestnut Street Inn

    The ultimate bed and breakfast for foodies, the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield is an award winning bed and breakfast featuring gourmet Mediterranean cuisine using locally grown foods. Conveniently lo Read more [...]

  • Condit’s Ranch

    Located on a high bluff overlooking the Illinois River Valley, Condit’s ranch offers numerous outdoor recreational experiences including both RV and primitive camping, 4 small lakes for Read more [...]

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