Isn’t it time to sit back and gaze up at the night, with the sounds of lapping water at your feet? There is not anything worth more than that peace found while surrounded by the glories of nature.
The Illinois River affords one and all the means of an escape from the ordinary and a return back to oneself. Find out more about this great river and how it has served and continues to serve the people of Illinois.
Some Illinois River History
There is nothing like simply starting at the beginning. The lifeblood of the Illinois ecosystem was formed when glaciers melted and trickled down the valley over 15,000 years ago. The river has seen its share of the first inhabitants and explorers with a rich history of Native American settlement and French exploration. The Illinois River has been a source of natural beauty, transportation, recreation and commerce since the beginnings of human settlement along its embankments. In the past, steamboat captains have made their way from Illinois to Mississippi and then to New Orleans. Today, personal boats and craft can see many of the sites our forefathers did while meandering down the Illinois River.
For those that set out for a drive along the Illinois River, the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway is one of only 126 routes in 44 states to be designated as one of America’s Byways. The route need to offer one or more of six qualities to qualify—nature, scenery recreation, culture, history and archaeology. This byway includes routes on both sides of the river, connecting over 100 nature-based and historical destinations within the stunning valley.
The river and valley formed thousands of years ago can be viewed by land or by water and serves as a gateway to the rich history and nature of Illinois.
The Illinois River Today
Pleasure-seekers turn to the Illinois River to unwind. The Illinois River has seen development that embraces the requirements and small luxuries of modern living, while honoring the beauty of the area. Heritage Harbor in Ottawa is one such place. The state of the art marina has over 450 boat slips and includes access to boat ramps and dry stack storage. Those scheduling a weekend trip or longer can take care of all of their needs at the ship’s store and marina-side bar & grill, The Red Dog Grill.
Its location on the Starved Rock pool of the Illinois River offers visitors world-class boating amenities and picturesque waterfront properties. The area is near two major interstate highways and is only 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, making it a convenient escape from the everyday.
Heritage Harbor Conservation Cove is a sheltered area nestled within Ottawa that provides the perfect spot to spy the wildlife that abounds in the area. Visitors can see egrets, herons and even migrations of the American White Pelican, a species of bird that recently faced the possibility of extinction.
It is here at Heritage Harbor that you can open yourself to the vast beauty of the area and take a wondrous boating tour akin Huck Finn, but with a few more luxuries. Heritage Harbor, the Ottawa area and beyond are yours to explore for those with the inclination and the imagination. Contact a friendly associate for more information on the best loops and residences at (815) 433-5000.