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The Great River Road in Illinois

Bird Watching / Wildlife Viewing

From bald eagles to hummingbirds, the Mississippi Flyway attracts more than 325 bird species. The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Thomson encompasses 261-miles across four states, making it the longest, contiguous river refuge in the continental U.S. Mississippi Palisades State Park supports more than 200 bird species including 34 different warblers. Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge’s Gilbert Lake and Calhoun Divisions are birding hotspots that are listed on the National Audubon Society’s Great River Birding Trail. LaRue-Pine Hills is known for its biodiversity and as a resting area for migratory birds and waterfowl, but it’s best known for its “Snake Road” that closes for migrating reptiles. From otters to bobcats and white-tailed deer to red fox, state parks and federal recreation areas along the river provide opportunities for both wildlife and bird watching.

 

Apple River Canyon State Park

Apple River Canyon State Park - Salem Unit

Apple River Canyon State Park - Thompson Unit

Bald Knob Wilderness - Shawnee National Forest

Bear Creek Recreation Area

Big River State Forest

Black Hawk State Historic Site

Blanchard Island Recreation Area

Blanding Landing Recreation Area

Buehler Preserve

Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve

Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake - Shawnee National Forest

Chestnut Mountain Resort

Clat Adams Bicentennial Park

Clear Springs Wilderness – Shawnee National Forest

Delabar State Park

Fisherman's Corner Recreation Area

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site

Giant City State Park

Hanover Bluff State Natural Area

Horseshoe Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area

Iris and Jack Witkowsky State Wildlife Area

Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam

Johnson Creek Recreation Area - Shawnee National Forest

Julius J. Knobeloch Woods Nature Preserve

Kaskaskia River State Fish & Wildlife Area

Kidd Lake Marsh State Natural Area

Kinkaid Lake & Trail System - Shawnee National Forest

LaRue-Pine Hills - Otter Pond Research Natural Area - Shawnee National Forest

Little Grand Canyon - Shawnee National Forest

McCully Heritage Project

Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge

Mississippi Palisades State Park

Mississippi River State Fish & Wildlife Area

Morrison-Rockwood State Park

Nauvoo State Park

Oakwood Bottoms - Shawnee National Forest

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

Pere Marquette State Park

Piasa Harbor

Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge - Keithsburg Division

Rall Woods State Natural Area

Randolph County State Recreation Area

Salt Lick Point Land & Water Preserve

Schurmeier Teaching Forest

Sylvan Island

Tapley Woods State Natural Area

The Nature Institute: Olin Nature Preserve, Mississippi Sanctuary, Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary, Heartland Prairie Project at Gordon Moore Park

Trail of Tears State Forest

Turkey Bluffs State Fish & Wildlife Area

Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge

Union County State Fish & Wildlife Area

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge and Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center

Wapello Land & Water Reserve

Wards Grove Nature Preserve

Watershed Nature Center

White Rock Nature Preserve

Winston Tunnel State Natural Area