The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway unites more than 100 nature-based destinations throughout the Illinois River Valley, beginning in Ottawa and ending 140 miles south in Havana. The Byway showcases great places where visitors and residents alike can go to discover and experience the nature of the region. From hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing, wetlands, gardens, birding and watching wildlife, the possibilities for adventure are endless.
As it follows the Illinois River south, the Byway travels through a mixture of backwater lakes, bottomland forests, floodplain wetlands, upland forest, savanna and some of the country’s last remaining tallgrass prairies. The river and these adjacent habitats provide an ideal environment for diverse birds, butterflies and other wildlife as well as numerous plant communities native to the valley. The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway will guide you through the Valley to some of Illinois’ most treasured, natural gems.