Most often, people come to our area to visit the Illinois state parks at Starved Rock Matthiessen State and Buffalo Rock.
Starved Rock is a beautiful park and it is one of the “7 Wonders of Illinois”. If you haven’t been, we highly recommend it. However there are many scenic trails of Matthiessen, and Buffalo Rock State Parks that are close to the Inn. Both have their appeal and should be visited as well. Matthiessen State Park also has Mountain Biking trails. Every year Matthiessen hosts a big mountain bike rally called Matthiessen Mountain Madness.
Guests can rent a horse at Cedar Creek Ranch and tour on 60+ acres of heavily wooded areas, creek crossings and fields.
The Illinois & Michigan Canal is one of the best bike paths in Illinois. Also on the Canal there is a replica Mule drawn canal boat, called the “Volunteer”, which you can take a ride on. Find more info at lasallecanalboat.org
There are three historical mansions that offer tours. The Hegeler Carus Mansion in LaSalle, Weber House and Garden in Steator and The Reddick Mansion in Ottawa.
The LaSalle county museum and complex offers interesting insight to old time Illinois Valley. Located in Utica.
The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center features a modern lock and dam with indoor and outdoor observation areas. Several displays on the Waterway, locks and towboats are featured. Scheduled tours and programs may be scheduled with the park ranger. The Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 9am to 5:00pm.
There are three wine tasting rooms in Utica were you can sample and purchase locally crafted wines. They are August Hill Winery, Illinois River Winery and Cattails Tasting Room. Also, there are many quaint shops in the towns of Utica, LaSalle and Ottawa for hours of shopping.
Many golf courses are located near the Inn and we will be happy to reserve a tee time for you. Find more info at senicasoakridge.net
Water sports such as rafting, canoeing, fishing and boating are available on the Illinois, Vermillion and Fox Rivers. Visit Starved Rock adventures to rent a boat or jetski on the Illinois.
During the winter months, Matthiessen Park rents cross-country skis and has miles of skiing trails. The bald Eagles always return to plum island, where you can see many of them. The frozen waterfalls are surely a sight to see and when you’re done, come back to your cozy room with a cup of hot chocolate and relax in your steamy hot tub!
You can enjoy the many activities the parks sponsor almost every weekend or shop for antiques along the countryside or in the nearby towns.
DIRECTIONS TO THE INN
Exit 81, Utica, Illinois Rt. 178. Follow Rt. 178 for 2 miles SOUTH. If you were comming from the East, it will be a left turn off the interstate. This will take you through Utica, over the Illinois river and past Starved Rock State Park, to a stop sign. Continue south (straight) on 178 for 1.9 miles, this will take you past Matthiessen State Park, Dells area and River Area. We will be o the RIGHT hand side exactly 1.9 miles from the stop sign.
Exit 48, Tonica. Go East on County Highway 14. If you’re comming from the south it will be a right turn off the interstate. At the First Stop sign go straight, staying on Highway 14 (Ed Lambert Road) for about 3 1/2 miles. Next stop sign (you will be at a “T” intersection) go LEFT on Illinois Route 178 for 2.3 miles and we are on the LEFT side.
0 mile – Matthiessen State Park
1 mile – Vermillion River
2 miles – Starved Rock State Park
4 miles – Illinois & Michigan Canal
4 miles – Utica
5 miles – Oglesby
6 miles – IL Waterway VisitorCenter
7 miles – Buffalo Rock State Park
7 miles – LaSalle-Peru
2-9 miles – Golf Courses
12 miles – Cedar Creek Ranch
13 miles – Ottawa
20 miles – Princeton
60 miles – Peoria
60 miles – Rockford
70 miles – Moline
90 miles – Chicago