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General Information

Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Description - Central western Illinois contains the Mississippi River, which forms the western border, and the Illinois River, which dissects the region. Wetlands and mature forests exist in this region along with the largest state park, Pere Marquette. Four preserves within Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge lie along the Mississippi River in central western Illinois. A very popular attraction in the area is Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

Farmlands and forests characterize the central eastern Illinois region, which contains several navigable man-made lakes. Small state parks exist throughout the region and preserve natural areas. Most of these parks have modern facilities for camping and hiking.

Southern Illinois contains the only National Forest in the state: Shawnee. This forest contains native American sites, dense forests and swimming and camping facilities. In this region southern wetlands meet the northern forests. Visitors will find cypress and tupelo swamps, as well as pine, oak, dogwood and hickory trees.

Attractions - Illinois contains a variety of geographical regions and landforms within its boundaries. The northeastern portion of the state is characterized by glacial lakes, bogs and lakeshore dunes. It contains the metropolitan area of Chicago and is dissected by several Interstates. Small state parks throughout this region preserve wetlands and glacier-carved natural areas. Chicago Portage National Historic Site and Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor commemorate the role of the region in American history.

Northwestern Illinois lies on a bed of limestone, which along with many waterways has formed canyons, caves, cliffs, waterfalls and sink holes. State Parks in the region preserve the most scenic of these landforms. This region is contained on the west by the Mississippi River. Along the river in this region is the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Recreation - Like every state, Illinois contains diverse recreation opportunities in every region. The Lake Michigan lakeshore of northeastern Illinois, and many man-made lakes, provide visitors and residents with access to water sports. Shawnee National Forest maintains access to hiking, camping, fishing and mountain biking.

Climate - Illinois experiences four distinct seasons with varying weather throughout the year. Winter can be very cold. The highest humidity of the year occurs during this season averaging 70 to 75 percent. Average low temperatures in January dip to 20 degrees F with highs near 35 degrees F. Spring temperatures are mild with humidity below 70 percent. Temperatures during this season average between 32 and 50 degrees F. Summer is usually hot and humid in this Midwest state. Low temperatures remain in the low sixties with high temperatures near 90 degrees F. The highest rainfall of the year occurs during the summer months. Fall is an excellent time to visit the state with low humidity and rainfall and moderate temperatures.

Location -


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Places to visit: Raceway Woods, Carpentersville, IL - Serenity in suburbia Some say they can still hear the echoes of the sports cars, stock cars and Indy cars that once raced here. But for most of us Meadowdale International Raceway now lies silent, and the 360 acre property it occupied provides welcome open space and even serenity in the midst of bustling suburbia. From 1958 to 1969 some of the most famous drivers in American racing history raced at Meadowdale. The track was 3.27 miles long and its 4,000-foot main straight was one of the longest in the country. Over 100,000 racing fans attended events there. Starting in the mid-'90s local citizens and government bodies got together to save the property from development, and volunteers were mobilized to clean up the old track. It now provides a wonderful place to walk and enjoy. The property features the highest elevations in the area, so there are spectacular vistas of the Fox River valley. The park has two entrances, one on Illinois Route 31 about 1.5 miles north of Huntley Road, and one on Huntley Road about a mile west of Route 31. The Route 31 entrance provides access to two artifacts of the race track- the Pure Oil silo and a steeply banked diving turn called Greg's Corkscrew or the Little Monza. However the major part of the course is difficult to access from this entrance. A washout requires navigating stream banks and stepping stones, then a substantial uphill climb discourages the easily winded. A new entrance, opened in 2005, is on Huntley Road about a mile west of Route 31 and provides much easier access. A walk up a gentle slope from the gravel parking lot takes you to the level portion of the track surface. Much of the asphalt track paving is still in place. Other paths have been covered with wood chips. There are a few points that get flooded or muddy when it's wet, but these can be avoided. About 4 miles of trail along the track and through the surrounding woods are accessible. About 60% of the track is shaded by trees. There are picnic tables in grassy areas near the Huntley Road gate. Portable toilets are located near the entrances. There is no drinking water or electricity on the property. Horse trailer parking and horse trails are provided, but no motorized vehicles are permitted beyond the parking lots. Parking and access to Raceway Woods is free. Directions: Raceway Woods is located just west of Carpentersville, IL, about 30-40 minutes northwest of Chicago, 4 miles north of the I-90 Tollway on IL Route 31. A website, www.meadowdaleraceway.homestead.com, deals mainly with the history of the racing at Meadowdale Raceway, but also includes access information, aerial maps of the property, and hiking notes. -END- Note: A digital version of this release is on the website, along with photos of the property, with race cars, and as it is now. I have no connection with Raceway Woods or any of its governing bodies. I am just a former racer at, and fan of, Meadowdale Raceway. My goal is increase recognition of this important part of American racing history. I maintain the website, www.meadowdaleraceway.homestead.com. (Just Google on Meadowdale Raceway. It's easier than typing all that.) Ross Fosbender, Ottawa, IL rossf@cognifast.com


More Information

Contact Information:
Illinois Bureau of Tourism, J. R. Thompson Ctr. Suite 3-400, 100 West Randolph , Chicago, IL, 60601

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