These are Some Great Outdoors.

Tens of thousands of acres of preserved land. Rolling hills. Bluffs with stunning river views. Quiet, sun-dappled woods. All this is yours, and endless miles of trails and waterways will let you experience it all.

Why Carroll County?

Here are just a few reasons to choose Carroll County for a day, a weekend, or even a whole week of family fun:

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Close to You

Carroll County is within a two-and-a-half hour drive of Chicago, most of Illinois and all of Southern Wisconsin and Eastern Iowa.

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Spectacular Nature

You’ll have access to thousands of acres of beautiful parklands and endless miles of dedicated trails, filled with birds and other wildlife.

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Family Fun

From laser tag and theater to kayaking and mini-golf, we have all types of entertaining things for you and your family to do.

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Places to Go

Take the winding backroads through rich farmland, forests, and hills, and stop for great food and shopping in welcoming towns along the way. Visit vast, beautiful parklands with endless miles of dedicated trails, filled with wildlife.

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Great Lodging

Lodging options from rustic cabins to resorts mean you get more than a place to sleep; where you stay becomes part of the fun!

Experience Nature’s Splendor in These Parklands

Hiking? Biking? Canoeing? Hunting or fishing? No matter how you enjoy the outdoors, these sites will relax and amaze you.

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Ayers Sand Prairie Nature Preserve

This preserve largely contains sand dunes and blowout communities to hike, and it is also home to many deer, skunks, and various birds. Illinois D.N.R. Website, Ayers Sand Prairie Nature Preserve Page

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Big Slough Recreational Area

A two lane boat launch gives access to the Mississippi and a backwater pool; canoe access, bank fishing, picnic sites, nearby campground. Big Sough Recreational Area Website

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French Bluff Illinois State Recreational Nature Area

French Bluff is characterized by steep hillsides, ridge tops, and terrace benches that are almost entirely covered by forest. Excellent for for birding and to view wildflowers. French Bluff Illinois State Recreational Nature Area Website

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Frog Pond

Not only is this a great fishing pond, but it is easily accessible (immediately off Route 84, south of Savanna) features a wheelchair accessible fishing platform, and is close to Plum River. Frog Pond Website

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Great River Trail

As Carroll County’s longest trail, it expands 62 miles from Savanna to the Quad Cities, and it has beautiful scenery in every mile. Great River State Trail Website

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Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center

This 50,000 acre refuge offers trails to hike or bike. Picnic, explore the gift shop, and enjoy the wildlife observation. Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center Website

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Lost Mound Unit

A 7,000 acre nature preserve on the Mississippi offering sand prairie remnants, forests, wetlands, old military buildings, Indian burial mounds, scenic river overlooks and the largest sand dune in Illinois. Lost Mound Unit Website

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Marquette Park

This seven acre park is located on the Mississippi River with boat launches, places to fish, picnic and bike, restrooms, and parking. Marquette Park Website

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Monument Park

This small area off Main Street in Savanna was established to commemorate early settlement in the area, and hosts the monument honoring the Aaron Pierce family, the first settlers of Savanna. Directions to Monument Park

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Mississippi Palisades State Park

2,400 acres on steep bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, with birding, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, scenic overlooks, and cross-country skiing. Mississippi Palisades State Park Website

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Old Mill Park

It features multiple walking trails, restroom buildings, tennis & basketball courts, a playground, and concessions. Old Mill Park Website

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Point Rock Park

This city park contains parking, frisbee golf, restrooms, and much more. Directions to Point Rock Park

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Portland Skate Park

Professional skate park. Open to all skaters, dawn to dusk daily. Helmets are mandatory. Directions to Portland Skate Park

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Spring Lake

An 8.7 mile trail rings this park and the lake it takes its name from. Scenic overlooks on the trail overlook the Mississippi and Spring Lake. Great spot for birding, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Spring Lake Website

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thomson Causeway Recreation Area

This 64 acre preserve on the Great River Trail overlooks a 3-mile wide Mississippi channel and the Potters Marsh wetlands. Great birding, camping, canoeing, fishing, and hiking; boat launches available.

Ready for the Time of Your Life?

Our beautiful region is yours to explore, and it’s right in your backyard, so why wait? Click below to choose lodging or plan your whole trip. We can’t wait to see you.