The Illinois Great River Road (Hwy 96 between Hamilton and Nauvoo) | Roads Worth Taking

It would be very wrong of me to post about beautiful roads to take and not tell you about the River Road between Hamilton and Nauvoo!

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As you go north out of Hamilton on your right will be one of my favorite parks as a teen. Wild Cat Springs. If you follow the creek back a ways there’s a deep pool of water that my friends and I used to swim in.

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And on the left there is a public boat harbor. It wasn’t too awfully busy when I took this shot, but during the summer it can be quite busy.

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As soon as you get past the S curves, the breath taking expanse of Mississippi spreads out in front of you. Be careful! There are often people driving really slow along this road. I understand 🙂 I can drive 55 along this stretch of road, but I’m used to it. I imagine seeing this for the first time in person is like seeing the Grand Canyon. I had seen lots of pictures of it before, but when I stepped up to the edge when we were out there a few years ago, it just took my breath away.

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If you should happen to find yourself to be among those who find it difficult to drive, don’t worry! There are plenty of little roadside parks where you can pull over and drink it all in 🙂

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I love this bluff, don’t you? There is a place to pull in there. People often launch their boats there or fish in the creek.

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By the way, THIS is what we call a creek!

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The Mississippi is nearly a mile wide here, but on a calm day you can actually talk with people on the other side without a phone! I’ve done it!

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As you near Nauvoo, there’s a little park on the east side called “David’s Chambers”. You have to stop there! It is so gorgeous! We used to call it “Lover’s Glenn” before the state came along and renamed it. You will understand why. It’s probably the most romantic setting I’ve ever been in!

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Just after David’s Chambers you will notice lots of swampy islands. When I was a kid, there was no land out there, but today it is a beautiful wetland where you will see herons, pelicans, turtles, ducks and geese. Watch out for the geese! They like to feed on the river bank and are often in the road 🙂

Once in Nauvoo, the state park will be on your right and the Mormon living history area will be on your right. You can camp there or get a hotel room if you go on up the hill. In any case, if you go there, tell them Grama Sue sent you!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

 

Illinois River Road (HWY 100) part 2| Roads Worth Taking

The other day I did a post about the Illinois River Road from Alton up to the Pere Marquette State Park. That area is full of activities and beauty, but today I want to take you further north into a beautiful rural area where you can really get back to nature!

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Once you get past the park, the road continues to hug the bluff while treating you to great views of the expansive river bottoms, teaming with fields and wildlife.

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As the road joins with HWY 16 east of Jerseyville, it winds through the bottoms to Hardin.

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There you cross the Illinois river on a quaint old draw bridge into Calhoon County, an area famous for it’s peaches in my neck of the woods! I got a kick too out of their high school.

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It apparently had the same architect as the school that Grampa Tom graduated from 🙂

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While there aren’t any waterslides, from there on your eyes will feast on breath taking eye candy like this.

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and this

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and this

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and this!

If you get a chance, take the road! You won’t regret it 🙂

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Illinois River Road (HWY 100) part 1| Roads Worth Taking

Yesterday, I had the awesome pleasure of taking the Illinois River Road from Alton half the way home. It’s a road worth taking!

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The 15 mile stretch from Alton up to Grafton is just incredible! The four lane highway is tucked between the breath taking river and soaring bluffs.

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There is also a bike/hiking path that follows the road that goes all the way to the Pere Marquette State Park a few miles north of Grafton.

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Grafton is a quaint little tourist town that caters to those that flock to drink in the area’s beauty.

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It is a fantastic place to take a family! I saw a water slide, a marina, horseback riding, a ferry, at least 4 winerys, condo’s, camping sites, bike rentals, museums, craft shops, flea markets and produce stands … I would absolutely love to go back there and explore it better someday.

At Grafton, the road narrows to two lane, but the scenery is every bit as beautiful!

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The road hugs the bluff as it winds north. Expansive river bottoms treat you to flowers, crops and wildlife!

So if you are ever near St. Louis, be sure to check out this road! It goes on nearly to Pittsfield. If you want to get  out into rural America the second part of the road is for you! But that’s for another post!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue