Illini State Park

Place Category: Ecology, Geology, Nature & Outdoor Recreation, Birding, and Nature Sites

  • Profile

    Located across the Illinois River from the town of Marseilles, the 510-acre Illini State Park lies along the northern edge of the “Great Falls” of the river, where a drop in streambed gradient creates beautiful roaring rapids. The park itself sits atop an old glacial moraine (elongated ridge-type hill bulldozed up by an advancing Pleistocene glacier) and features a dense hardwood forest of oaks and hickories on the ridge tops, sugar maple, black walnut, and white ash on the slopes, and silver maple and cottonwood in the bottoms, providing diverse habitat for birds and birders. Hikers (and cross country skiers in winter) can take the parks Marasottawa Trail which loops from the Sycamore Grove Shelter on the east end of the park up to the Mallard Bay Shelter and Boat Launch on the east end. LaSalle County birders highlight this trail as one of the best sites in the county for viewing migrating vireos, warblers, thrushes, and other songbirds in fall.

    There is also something for every type of camper at Illini State Park. Both tent and trailer sites, including electric and sanitation service, are offered and some of the sites offer breathtaking views of the river. A youth area is available for youth groups.

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