What's The Story
The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway has been described as a “museum without walls.” As such, one may consider each Native American history point of interest as an exhibit. As is the case with most museums, a visitor has the freedom to roam about the exhibits in any order they choose. At the same time, exhibits are often organized in an order that tells a story. So, while we encourage Illinois River Road travelers to explore, we also offer recommendations as thematic itineraries. If you are interested in Native American history before the arrival of the French and Americans, museums with displays of artifacts and/or interpreted exhibits such as those at Dickson Mounds, will be the most informative. If, on the other hand, you are interested in the late 17th and early 18th century interaction between Native Americans and the French, there are several must-see places along the Illinois River Road. And finally, if you prefer to visit a place for quiet contemplation and little interpretation, you might choose the Ogden- Fettie site for example.
To facilitate a thematic itinerary, we have classified destinations accordingly (Table 2). For example, there are Native American history destinations, those that tell the Native American & French story, and the War of 1812.
As noted at the outset of this report, we simply encourage the Illinois River Road traveler to explore each destination. We think you will find them informative and enriching. And, while you’re doing so, be sure to take time to enjoy the amenities featured by River Road communities.