It’s no wonder Ottawa has embraced Heritage Harbor. By maintaining its commitment to environment, history and community, Ottawa has avoided the unsustainable path of other communities by resisting big box stores, suburban sprawl and economic dislocation.
This sheltered area is the perfect spot for an intimate view of Ottawa’s wildlife. Here you’re likely to see egrets and herons wading in the shallow water, and perhaps an eagle perched on a high branch. Even a giant white pelican, unmistakable with its 8 to 10-foot wingspread, might pause here on the way to its Canadian summer home.
Past the lights of Harbor Town and the sparkling Marina, through charming residential neighborhoods and along the shore to the sandy beach, the entire community will be linked by this wide, paved trail. Designed for walking and biking, the trail will also provide a place for neighbors to meet.
Heritage Harbor Marina
Whether you prefer to launch or to lunch, the marina services at Heritage Harbor make it a breeze. With our ship’s store, this full-service marina can have your boat docked, stocked and river-ready when you are.-
If you are just getting back into boating or if you have always wanted to learn how, Quest Express makes it easy. Education, instruction and convenience…with a variety of boats to choose from, all you have to do is climb aboard.
I&M Canal Trail
The I&M Canal National Historic Corridor, part of the US National Park Service, is a vital part of American history. It combines a collection of state and local parks, historic sites and museums into a 61-mile attraction with paths for hiking, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Grab a lounge chair and take in the fantastic view of boats entering the harbor, enjoy a cocktail from the poolside service crew, and bask in the warm sun while enjoying one of Heritage Harbor’s finest amenities.
Heritage Harbor features special events throughout the year…Sunset Showcase, Venetian Night, Wine Tastings, and even a Ducky Derby…there is always something happening at Heritage Harbor.
Wakeboarding & Waterskiing
Some of the areas finest wakeboard and water-skiing takes place on the Illinois River. Heritage Harbor is home to River Games a wakeboard festival with demonstrations and free clinics.
Get your game on – whether it’s a pick-up game or organized fun — sand volleyball is sure to attract your competitive side.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayaking and canoeing are at their best here in Starved Rock Country with the Illinois and Fox Rivers you’ll find scenic waterfalls and breath-taking views while enjoying an afternoon workout.
Nestled on the north bank of the east peninsula this sandy beach area is ready for a castle building, a bon fire or just a simple picnic lunch. A scavenger hunt may even be a must.
Starved Rock State Park
Visit historic Starved Rock State park. Over two million visitors per year visit Illinois’ first state park. Hike along 15 miles of trails with lush vegetation & abundant wildlife.
Buffalo Rock State Park
So named because (legend has it) the area once served as a “blind canyon” where Indians ran buffalo for capture, this 298-acre park has long been a natural favorite.
Matthiessen State Park
This hidden treasure is comprised of nearly 2,000 acres of prairies, bluff and deep ravine forests, as well as sandstone canyons cut by the still-rushing Vermilion River. A truly unique and memorable view of Starved Rock Country
Hunting and Fishing
Starved Rock Country is one of the best regions in the entire Midwest for deer, turkey, waterfowl, and bird hunting. We can refer you to the best outfitters and guides. As you can imagine, fishing is very popular throughout Starved Rock Country. From Marseilles to Spring Valley, you can catch your limit of walleye, sauger, bass and more.
One of the premier sky diving facilities in the entire US is only minutes away. You can learn and jump…or you can sit back at the restaurant and enjoy the view.
Nature and wildlife are in abundance all around you. In winter there is eagle watching, white-tail deer and snow egrets are sure to be spotted close by, in Spring catch the pelicans migrating and heron making their return in summer catch a turtle basking in the hot sun in Conservation Cove….
ATV and Off Road
There are several local destinations that allow you to go “off road”. Whether you are looking to take it easy or hit the throttle…Starved Rock Country is renowned for its terrain.
Think you have to go to Colorado to catch some of the best whitewater rafting, think again, catch a group and head for the Vermillion River where you’ll experience some of the best whitewater rafting the region has to offer.
Ride to the Rock
Hop on your Harley and tour Starved Rock Country with its winding roads and scenic vistas. Taking a “ride to the rock” is one of the most popular day trips for riders in Northern Illinois.
Grab your organic produce, handmade soap on Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market and then experience yoga class at one of the many studios in the area.
The toboggan hill at Allen Park, Cross Country Skiing at Matthiessen State Park, or snowmobiling on the I&M Canal are just a few of the winter adventures waiting to be experienced in Starved Rock Country.
If you want a truly unique way to enjoy Starved Rock Country, why not try a River Tour? The Belle of the Rock and the Spirit of Peoria can transport you down river for a great adventure while it transports you back in time. You can see the river valley like they did 100 years ago!