Rural Attractions Near Chicago, Illinois

Rural Attractions Near Chicago, Illinois
It takes about an hour's drive in any direction from downtown Chicago before you'll find yourself in rural Illinois, but there are some attractions that are well worth the trip for outdoors enthusiasts. These parts of Illinois are fun for kids and adults alike, some of which may be a little more fast-paced or slow-paced, depending on age and interests.

Starved Rock

The most popular rural attraction outside of Chicago is Starved Rock, which is 80 miles away from the city. This massive state park offers the most extensive hiking trails in northern Illinois. Canyons, waterfalls and forests prove the natural beauty of Illinois, and the Belle of the Rock paddleboat, kayak and canoe tours make the Starved Rock experience all the more quaint and charming.

Starved Rock Adventures
P.O. Box 2261
Ottawa, Illinois 61350
(815) 434-9200

Kankakee River

About an hour southwest of Chicago is the Kankakee River. This is a mighty river that flows through Jasper, Lake, Will and Kankakee counties. Catfish, northern pike, bass and walleye are plentiful at the Wilmington Dam, where fishermen come from all across the state to spend a summer day knee deep in the river, fishing away to their heart's delight.

Wilmington Dam Bait
123 Bridge St,
Wilmington, IL 60481
(815) 476-2729

Raging Buffalo

Illinois can't compete with the Rocky Mountains, but it can still offer a fun day of snowboarding or skiing. Raging Buffalo is located in Algonquin, Illinois, on the outskirts of the northwest Chicago suburbs. A great option for rural fun in the winter months, it also has a wakeboarding school that's used on the river during warmer times of the year. Raging Buffalo will rent out equipment if you don't bring your own.

Raging Buffalo
19N475 Rt. 31,
Algonquin, IL‎ 60102
(847) 836-7243‎

Article Written By Ron Augustine

Ron Augustine is a rookie freelance writer and producer who has worked primarily in radio and print media for Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions, Relevant Magazine, WMBI Chicago and the Burnside Writers Collective. He graduated Moody College in 2007 with a degree in Communications.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.