Tag Archives: biking

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Seven Eagles Resort & Campground is located just one mile south of beautiful Savanna, Illinois, adjacent to the Spring Lake Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and The Great River Trail bike path. Seven Eagles offers a motel and log cabins and 85 seasonal and weekend RV spaces. Other features include a nice in-ground pool, a 6 in 1 court, a playground and fishing pond and the 67 mile bike path. They also have a nice club house for events and activities. If you’re looking to get away or a family gathering, Seven Eagles Resort and Campground is just the place for you.

Email us at: fun@goseveneagles.com

Phone: 815-273-7301

www.goseveneagles.com

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground Seven Eagles Resort and Campground Seven Eagles Resort and Campground Seven Eagles Resort and Campground Seven Eagles Resort and Campground Seven Eagles Resort and Campground Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Seven Eagles Resort and Campground

Owners Mick and Ruth Morfey

Biking

Biking is a popular recreational activity in Illinois and Carroll County is no exception! Extensive bicycle path systems and exciting biking opportunities can be found here. Alternatively, a leisurely bicycle tour is an excellent way to explore and sightsee our charming villages, towns, and parks.

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

Common Merganser by Michael Fitzgerald
map-buttonUpper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center – Savanna District

Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center
7071 Riverview Road
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-273-2732

http://www.fws.gov/refuge/upper_mississippi_river/
https://www.facebook.com/UpperMissNWFR

Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge
http://stewardsumrr.org
https://www.facebook.com/stewardsoftheuppermississippiriverrefuge
stewardsumrr@gmail.com

Within the boundaries of Carroll County lies one of America’s greatest treasures, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The Refuge encompasses four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Carroll County is very fortunate to have the Illinois District Office within our boundaries. Just five minutes south of Savanna on Riverview Road west of Highway 84, the Illinois District Office is located within Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center.

ingersoll-wetlands-learning-center-carroll-county-illinois

Our Story

In 2000, Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center opened its doors to promote environmental education and conservation of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Visitors travel from all over the world to view the Mississippi River and its wildlife. This provides us with many great opportunities to share our story and to encourage support for the Refuge System.

Conveniently located within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, the facility is packed with interesting hands-on exhibits and provides a dramatic view of the world’s most majestic and celebrated river.

The Center sits on thirty-five acres of sand prairie that is home to the ornate box turtle, prickly pear cactus, and a diversity of other plants and animals. Visitors can walk or bike the Grand Illinois Trail, which traverses through the prairie and along Spring Lake. Photographers find many opportunities to get that special picture of a bald eagle, sandhill crane, trumpeter swan, or the prickly pear cactus. No matter what your interest, there’s something for you to see and do.

ingersoll-bros--carroll-county-illinois

The Center is dedicated to the memory of Gary and David Ingersoll, young residents of Savanna who were stricken with muscular dystrophy. Although confined to wheelchairs most of their young lives, the two overcame day-to-day challenges and attended college, where they demonstrated their mutual interest in natural resource conservation. Tragically, both young men died of the disease before the age of twenty-two. The center was named in their honor. Toaday, it continues to promote their ideals of environmental education and conservation of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Hours are 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. The Center is closed on all federal holidays. Starting in mid May through September, the Center is open on Saturdays from 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

The Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge “Friend’s Group” operates a bookstore within Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center. It’s filled with an excellent selection of children’s books, field guides, and unique gifts. If you know one of those “hard to buy for” nature enthusiasts, you’ll find that perfect gift here. All proceeds support various refuge programs.

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Story

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, established for fish, wildlife, plants, and as a breeding place for migratory birds, owes its existence to the avid fisherman, founder and leader of the Izaak Walton League, Will Dilg. By 1922, Dilg had spent nearly two decades fishing and enjoying the Upper Mississippi River. In the summer of 1923, he learned of a plan to drain a large portion of the river backwaters and came up with an ambitious solution to the drainage scheme: turn the entire stretch of river into a federal refuge.

will-dilg-carroll-county-illinois

Will Dilg

Remarkably, one year later, due to Dilg’s determination, Congress passed the Upper Mississippi River Wild Life and Fish Refuge Act on June 7, 1924. The act authorized the acquisition of land for a refuge between Rock Island, Illinois and Wabasha, Minnesota. The Refuge name was changed administratively to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in 1983. The 261 mile refuge is the longest contiguous river refuge in the continental U.S. This refuge begins at the confluence of the Chippewa River near Wabasha, Minnesota, and ends near Princeton, Iowa. The refuge lies within four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

The river was free-flowing until a series of locks and dams were constructed in the 1930’s by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Over half of the lands managed by the refuge are owned by the Corps. Today, nearly 240,000 acres of wooded islands, marshes, and backwaters comprise the Upper Mississippi Refuge. The refuge provides migratory habitat for a large percentage of the migratory birds in the Mississippi Flyway. Tundra swans and canvasback ducks use the refuge as a resting and feeding area in the spring and fall. From the beginning, the refuge has been a place for visitors to renew themselves. A quiet trip to the backwaters, camping on an island, fishing a favorite spot, and waterfowl hunting are traditional uses that have continued for over eighty years.

The National Wildlife Refuge System

paul-kroegel-carroll-county-illinois

Paul Kroegel was hired as the first national wildlife refuge manager. He was paid $1 a month by the Florida Audubon Society, as Congress had not set aside funds for this executively created refuge.

One hundred and eleven years ago, Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Florida’s Pelican Island, ensuring the island’s birds would survive plume hunters and other profiteers. He went on to establish more than fifty wildlife refuges in a network of protected lands and waters that has become a landmark international conservation model.

The National Wildlife Refuge System presently encompasses 562 refuge units, 38 wetland management districts, and more than 150 million protected acres. It stretches from Alaska to the Caribbean and west from Maine to islands in the remote Pacific Ocean.

This network is dedicated to the protection of vital wildlife habitat and efforts to restore at-risk species. Examples include the return of the bald eagle and the brown pelican, both of which are no longer on the Endangered Species List, as well as our work with other iconic wildlife such as caribou, bison, elk and puffins. Refuges offer the American public a chance to see all these animals, not behind bars in a zoo, but roaming free in their natural environment.

national-wildlife-refuge-system-mapRefuges help our communities by cleaning the air and the water we depend on for human health. By conserving and restoring these natural landscapes, they also help to prevent or minimize disasters such as flooding, drought and wildfires.

Forty-seven million people visit refuges each year. Some come to see and experience undeveloped landscapes or to learn about nature and conservation. Others come to take part in the many available outdoor recreational opportunities.

In the process, refuges stimulate local economies, supporting thousands of private sector jobs, and generate billions of dollars in commercial activity. Our recent Banking on Nature report reveals refuges pump $2.4 billion into the economy and support more than 35,000 jobs.

Our national wildlife refuges are home to more than 700 types of birds, 220 varieties of mammals, 250 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, 1,000 species of fish, countless invertebrates, and plants. They provide havens for 280 endangered species ranging from the Florida panther to the polar bear.

Outdoor Recreation

A view from a trail at Mississippi Palisades State Park

 

Ayers Sand Prairie Nature Preserve
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge map-button
Airport Rd & Spring Lake Road
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-2732

Visit our website

Ayers Sand Prairie is a relatively large preserve containing dry sand prairie, sand dune and blowout communities typical of the Mississippi River Section of the Illinois and Mississippi River Sand Areas Natural Division. An inventory of the plants revealed 39 species of grasses and sedges, 16 species of woody plants and 96 forbs. The dominant herbaceous species are little bluestem, June grass and hairy gramma grass. Carolina anemone, sandcress, puccoon and sand primrose are typical sand prairie species. Black oak and cottonwood occur in the blowouts along with scattered clones of aromatic sumac. Resident mammals include deer, skunk, rabbit, mole, shrew and western harvest mice. Summer resident birds occurring here include upland sandpiper, loggerhead shrike, western meadowlark, grasshopper sparrow and dickcissel. A number of the characteristic reptiles found in sand prairies occur at Ayers Sand Prairie.


map-button French Bluff Illinois State Recreational Nature Area
2911 Scenic Bluff Road
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-273-2731

French bluff is characterized by steep hillsides, ridge tops, and terrace benches that are almost entirely covered by forest. Located east of Thomson, IL and just north of Argo Fay Road, this large contiguous forest tract is the southern most forest area in the Driftless Area. You can hike on unmarked trails through the site. An excellent birding site for interior forest birds as well as a good site to view spring wildflowers. Hiking, hunting, and birding.


map-buttonFrog Pond
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
Doty Road & Route 84
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-2732

Visit our website

Frog Pond is a small recreational area situated along Plum River. Located just south of Savanna, IL and immediately off Route 84, one of its big features is a wheel chair accessible fishing platform. Not only good for fishing, but an excellent place to view floodplain forest birds during spring and fall migration. Birding, canoeing, fishing, and picnicking.


map-buttonGreat River Trail

Great River Trail Map PDF

The Great River Trail recreational path extends 62 miles from Savanna, through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge, to the Quad Cities and  provides fantastic biking, hiking, running, and walking opportunities.


map-buttonIngersoll Wetlands Learning Center
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
7071 Riverview Road
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-273-2732

Visit our website

Fifty-five thousand acres with biking, birding, boat launches, canoeing, fishing, gift shop, hiking, hunting, picnicking, and wildlife observation.


map-buttonLost Mound Unit
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
3700 Army Depot Road
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-3184

Visit our website

Lost Mound is a 7,000-acre tract on the Mississippi River located on an old munitions testing army base that closed in 2000. Unique features of this site include sand prairie remnants, forests, backwater wetlands, old military buildings, Indian burial mounds and the largest sand dune in Illinois. Biking, birding, hiking, Prickly Pear and Black Oak Dune scenic overlook area.


map-buttonMarquette Park
Wayne King Drive & Randolph Street
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-4487

Seven acre park on the Mississippi River, boat launches, canoeing, fishing, picnicking, restrooms, & parking.


map-buttonMississippi Palisades State Park
16327A Route 84
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-2731

Visit our website

As its name suggests, this 2,400-acre park sits on lofty steep bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, with river access below. The park offers beautiful scenery, biking, birding, boat launches, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, scenic overlooks, and seasonal cross-country skiing.


Monument Park
Main Street
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-2722

This small area describing early settlement in Savanna hosts the monument commemorating the Aaron Pierce family, the first settlers of Savanna.


map-buttonOld Mill Park
9621 US Highway 52
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-4487

Old Mill Park is 85 acres located on the northeast side of town featuring ball diamonds, tennis courts, basketball court, playground equipment, concession stand, two restroom buildings (one newly built accessible), and shelter houses. There is also a nature trail, walking trial, and plenty of green space for relaxing and picnicking. Open from April 15 through October 31. It is open to walk-in traffic after October 31 during the daylight hours. Persons who wish to walk or ‘play’ in the park may park at the front entrance near the Park Superintendent’s home.


map-buttonPoint Rock Park
182 South Mill Street
Mount Carroll, Illinois 61053
815-244-4424

Point Rock is a 25 acre city park that stretches along the banks of the Waukarusa River. One of the walking trails leads to the Oak Hill Cemetery, which has graves dating back to the Revolutionary War. Biking,  fishing, frisbee golf course, hiking, parking, restrooms.


map-buttonPortland Skate Park
1500 Portland Avenue
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-2722

Professional skate park. Open to all skaters, dawn to dusk daily. Helmets are mandatory.


map-buttonSpring Lake
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge 
9496 Route 84
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-273-2732

Visit our website

This site provides scenic views of both Spring Lake as well as the Mississippi River. Most notable is the 8.7 mile gravel path that runs along the edges of Spring Lake with two observation decks. Biking, birding, fishing, hiking, picnicking.


map-buttonU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Big Slough Recreational Area
5836 Riverview Road
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-259-3628

Mississippi River boat launching, canoe access, fishing, restrooms, and parking.


map-buttonU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thomson Causeway Recreation Area
Lewis Avenue and Main Street
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-259-2353

Visit our website

At 64 acres, Thomson Causeway is the largest Army Corps of Engineers recreation area on the Mississippi River. Located at a wide spot on the river, it offers unobstructed views of the more than three mile wide main channel and of Potters Marsh. On the Great River Trail. Biking, birding, boat launches, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking.



Activities

Golfing
Whether you're a pro or a novice, play 18 holes or a round of mini golf, Carroll County has several beautiful courses to choose from.
Bird Watching
Carroll County hosts more than 190 species of birds. Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls are just 2 examples.
Bicycling
Carroll County boosts some of the most scenic biking trails around.
Boating
Boating, canoeing, and kayaking are popular recreational activities in Illinois and Carroll County is no exception! Extensive waterway systems and exciting boating opportunities can be found here.
Hiking
Hiking is a great way to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors. Don't miss the beautiful scenery at Palisades Park!
Fishing and Hunting
If you enjoy fishing or hunting, you can find plenty of opportunities to to do either...or both!

The communities of Carroll County feature a wide variety of stimulating recreational activities. Whether you enjoy bicycling, bird watching, boating, camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, motorsports, or swimming, Carroll County has what you need for an Illinois weekend getaway vacation. So bring your bike, binoculars, boat, camping gear, fishing pole, golf clubs, or sense of adventure, and cruise on into Carroll County to enjoy the pleasant things in life!

Golfing in Carroll County

Golfing

Boating in Carroll County

Boating

Swimming in Carroll County

Swimming

Bicycling in Carroll County

Bicycling

Motorsports in Carroll County

Motorsports

Hunting and Fishing in Carroll County

Fishing and Hunting

Bird Watching in Carroll County

Bird Watching

Hiking in Carroll County

Hiking


And that’s just for starters…

Here is a more extensive list of things to see and do in Carroll County.

Outdoor Activities

Indoor Activities



Biking

Biking Trails

biking-visit-carroll-county-illinois

Do you like riding a bicycle? Do you like beautiful scenery? Then Carroll County is the place for you. Mile after mile of bike trails and roadways to explore. Spectacular views of nature, wildlife and wilderness all around to add to your adventure. Take the Great River Trail from Savanna to the Quad Cities all the Mighty Mississippi River. Take the winding backroads through rich farmland, farm animals, forests, and hills.


Bicycle Sales and Service

map-buttonArnold’s Bikes USA
831 Main Street
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-259-8289

Visit our website

Arnold’s carries a wide variety of bikes with a price range to fit every budget. Catrike, Sun, and Fuji, plus a variety of used bikes of many different types and brands: Recumbent 2 Wheelers, Upright Pedal Forward/Comfort Bikes, Recumbent Trikes, Upright Trikes to Mountain bikes, Road bikes, Kid’s Bikes, and more.  Also offers repairs and accessories for all your biking needs.  Arnold’s strives to carry as many Made in USA products as we can find, and are adding more all the time!  Located three blocks east of the Mississippi River and the Great River Trail Section of the Grand Illinois Trail.


Trails and Sites to See

 

Great River Trail

Map PDF

The Great River Trail recreational path extends 62 miles from Savanna, through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge, to the Quad Cities and  provides fantastic biking, hiking, running, and walking opportunities.


map-buttonIngersoll Wetlands Learning Center
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
7071 Riverview Road
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-273-2732

Visit our website

55,000 acres: biking, birding, boat launches, canoeing, fishing, gift shop, hiking, hunting, picnicking, wildlife observation.


map-buttonLost Mound Unit
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
3700 Army Depot Road
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-3184

Visit our website

Lost Mound is a 7,000-acre tract on the Mississippi River located on an old munitions testing army base that closed in 2000. Unique features of this site include sand prairie remnants, forests, backwater wetlands, old military buildings, Indian burial mounds and the largest sand dune in Illinois. Biking, birding, hiking, Prickly Pear and Black Oak Dune scenic overlook area.


map-buttonMarquette Park
Wayne King Drive & Randolph Street
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-4487

Seven acre park on the Mississippi River, boat launches, canoeing, fishing, picnicking, restrooms, & parking.


map-buttonMississippi Palisades State Park
16327A Route 84
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-2731

Visit our website

As its name suggests, this 2,400-acre park sits on lofty steep bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, with river access below. The park offers beautiful scenery, biking, birding, boat launches, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, scenic overlooks, and seasonal cross-country skiing.


map-buttonOld Mill Park
9621 US Highway 52
Savanna, Illinois 61074
815-273-4487

Old Mill Park is 85 acres located on the northeast side of town featuring ball diamonds, tennis courts, basketball court, playground equipment, concession stand, two restroom buildings (one newly built accessible), and shelter houses. There is also a nature trail, walking trial, and plenty of green space for relaxing and picnicking. Open from April 15 through October 31. It is open to walk-in traffic after October 31 during the daylight hours. Persons who wish to walk or ‘play’ in the park may park at the front entrance near the Park Superintendent’s home.


map-buttonPoint Rock Park
182 South Mill Street
Mount Carroll, Illinois 61053
815-244-4424

Visit our website

Point Rock is a 25 acre city park that stretches along the banks of the Waukarusa River. One of the walking trails leads to the Oak Hill Cemetery, which has graves dating back to the Revolutionary War. Biking,  fishing, frisbee golf course, hiking, parking, restrooms.


map-buttonSpring Lake
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge 
9496 Route 84
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-273-2732

Visit our website

This site provides scenic views of both Spring Lake as well as the Mississippi River. Most notable is the 8.7 mile gravel path that runs along the edges of Spring Lake with two observation decks. Biking, birding, fishing, hiking, picnicking.


map-buttonU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thomson Causeway Recreation Area
Lewis Avenue and Main Street
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-259-2353

Visit our website

At 64 acres, Thomson Causeway is the largest Army Corps of Engineers recreation area on the Mississippi River. Located at a wide spot on the river, it offers unobstructed views of the more than three mile wide main channel and of Potters Marsh. On the Great River Trail. Biking, birding, boat launches, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking.



Carroll County’s Official Tourism Information Website!

Carroll County Country Christmas Shop Hop

Nov. 3, 4 & 5
— GET FULL DETAILS HERE —

Carroll County Offers Something for Everyone

Looking for a reason to get in the car and enjoy a splendid day in the country? Look no further than Carroll County, Illinois. With so much to see, experience, and do, there’s no better reason, or season, to discover the hidden treasures and pleasures of this region than now! Come spend a day, a weekend, or a week. We are sure you will enjoy your stay.

Nestled among the rolling hills and lush forests of beautiful northwest Illinois, Carroll County is a world away from your demanding workweek. The county encompasses four hundred sixty-six square miles of friendly smiles, genuine outdoor adventure, and charming villages that punctuate a landscape nourished by the mighty Mississippi River. Scenic byways, rich history, and outstanding special events make Carroll County the preferred destination for many visitors each year.

Courtesy of the Carroll County Hotel Motel Tax Board

Discover the flora and fauna along many beautiful nature walk paths

Our local historic villages boast outstanding shops offering antiques or artisan works, a professional summer stock theatre, roadside stands featuring vine-fresh melons, homegrown produce, and delectable morel mushrooms. Visitors revel in a schedule of special events throughout the year, ranging from Mount Carroll’s Mayfest, Milledgeville’s June Days, and Savanna’s Haunted Forest Festival to Lanark’s Old Settler’s Days and Chadwick’s Hometown Christmas.

Whether you desire a family outing, a great escape, or a romantic getaway, Carroll County offers unique opportunities that are certain to fulfill those needs. Come, visit Carroll County and discover our special place in the pines!

Do Everything or Nothing at All

Carroll County oozes history, mystery, and natural beauty. Mile after magnificent mile, the rolling plains, towering woodlands, charming small towns, wonderful attractions, and expansive vistas will have you returning to visit season after season.lodging-carroll-county-illinois-timber-lake-cabins

Outdoor Recreation

If the great outdoors are calling your name, then Carroll County has you covered. Here you’ll discover a region overflowing with recreational outdoor activities. Carroll County is filled with opportunities for wildlife viewing, camping, hiking, biking, boating, hunting, fishing, shopping, antiquing, and exploring our nation’s rich history, or just sitting under an old shade tree to devour a good book.

From local parks and wildlife reserves to exceptional golf courses, from miles of beautiful boating to great fishing on the “Mighty Mississippi”, you’ll find it here in Carroll County. From catfish and muskie to trout, local streams, rivers, and lakes provide anglers with the perfect opportunity for their next big fish story.

The real beauty of Carroll County is found in simple natural wonders. Such pleasures give pause from the hectic pace of modern life. The elegance of a falling autumn leaf, the majesty of a foraging deer, or the alluring warmth of a crackling fire are irresistible invitations that draw visitors to this special place.

 

One of Many Along the Barn Quilt TourBarn Quilt Trail

Barn quilts enhance the beauty of the countryside and are enjoyed by those who pass by. Carroll County is very fortunate to have many “Barn Quilts” already in existence throughout its countryside. We have compiled a list of our local barn quilts and  a map.

We certainly would like to see “Barn Quilt Fever” continue to grow in Carroll County. Our end goal, is to promote agri-tourism and attract visitors to our rural community.

History & Culture

History lovers find a new home in Carroll County. Here a treasure trove of museums, monuments, and historical sites capture the imagination.

Explore the stone arch bridge where Abraham Lincoln camped as a private during the Black Hawk War or discover the tragic tale of an historic steamboat, “The Sultana”.

Shopping

Retail therapy enthusiasts applaud the various shopping opportunities that abound in Carroll County. Local shops offer everything from eclectic hand-crafted gifts and quaint artisan works to antique treasures and coveted collectibles. In Carroll County, you’ll always be greeted by friendly shopkeepers who still understand the art of authentic small-town hospitality.

Whether you’re seeking a day trip, a weekend getaway or a week-long adventure, discover excellent restaurants and diverse lodging choices that range from primitive campsites or rustic cabins to pampering B&Bs, comfortable country inns, and award-winning hotels. With gentle rolling hills and lush countryside, Carroll County is a great escape from the concrete and asphalt of a big city. All this and more is waiting for you a trifling 90 minutes from the Greater Chicagoland Metropolitan Area. Come for a visit and experience a weekend getaway the way it used to be!