1300 North 27th Road Ottawa IL 61350
Buffalo Rock State Park is located on a bluff which once was an island in the Illinois River. Now standing majestically on the north bank, this promontory affords a magnificent, sweeping view of the Illinois River. Located approximately 3 miles west of Ottawa in LaSalle County, this 298-acre park has long been a favorite picnic area, as well as a nature lovers’ delight. The area of Buffalo Rock was the home of the Illinois Indians when Louis Jolliet, the French explorer, and the Jesuit missionary priest Father Jacques Marquette made their trip up the Illinois River in 1673. Later, the Illinois tribe was virtually annihilated in protracted warfare with the aggressive Iroquois.
401 Ottawa Street Morris IL 60450
Gebhard Woods State Park was originally purchased from Mrs. William Gebhard by the Grundy County Rod and Gun Club in 1934 for of $1,500. A game fish rearing pool was developed on the property by the club, who in turn donated the property to the state to be developed and maintained as Gebhard Woods State Park. Members of the Brandon-Morris Civilian Conservation Corps were employed by the U.S. Department of the Interior to clear and landscape this newly formed state park. The CCC developed two additional spawning pools for game fish, interior trails, a large shelter of hand-hewn beams with flagstone flooring, two small log shelters complete with fireplaces, a sheltered resting bench and a large stone fireplace.
2660 E 2350th Rd, Marseilles, IL 61341
Illini State Park is the type of park you think of when you think of big picnics and family gatherings. With its rustic Civilian Conservation Corps buildings and riverside picnic areas, Illini State Park offers beautiful views and a sense of history not found in many other parks.
Named for the native Americans who once inhabited the area, the 510-acre Illini State Park is located south of the Illinois River between Marseilles and U.S. Route 6. In the mid-1920s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a barge canal to bypass the rapids. The canal borders the park, and visitors can watch as large barges pass through the Marseilles Locks. Less than a mile north of the park is the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, completed in 1848 when the section from Marseilles to Morris opened.
Illini was dedicated as a state park in 1935. Hickory, ash, walnut, elm, cottonwood, oak and maple trees provide shade in the summer and beautiful colors in the fall. Wildlife abound year round.
Picnic areas, shelters and playgrounds are found throughout the park. Several of the shelters also have working fireplaces. Both tent and trailer campsites, including electric and sanitation service, are offered and some of the sites offer outstanding views of the river. A youth camp area is available for youth groups. Make campsite reservations online at ExploreMoreIL.
River fishing is popular out of Illini State Park, where a boat ramp is available.
2649 N 21st Rd. Marseilles IL 61341
LaSalle Lake, a man made, 2,058-acre lake 8 miles southeast of Marseilles, is popular among anglers. Serving as a cooling lake for Commonwealth Edison's LaSalle Power Station, the lake is formed by levees that rise above the surrounding land. While this "perched" construction helps the lake catch the wind to cool the impounded water, it can result in extremely hazardous conditions for unwary boaters. All lake users should familiarize themselves with the precautions described in the "Safety Information" below.
Dirt excavated for the lake's construction was used to build the shoreline and internal dikes, which are covered with rock riprap. The dikes are used to direct cooling water through a five day circulation pattern from the discharge channel back to the intake channel. There is typically a 20-degree water temperature difference between the two channels. The average depth of LaSalle Lake is 15 feet, but there are excavated areas within the lake up to 70 feet deep.
With its rip rapped shoreline, LaSalle has no natural shoreline for beaching boats. Boaters must allow ample time to boat from the lake's northern shores to the boat ramp area on the southwestern corner.
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