With a state as big as Illinois, there are bound to be some remote destinations. These 12 attractions will get you off the grid while still filling your Instagram with beautiful images.
From state parks to scenic drives to waterfalls, this list has something for everyone. Check it out:
1. Millstone Bluff
A short trail through the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois leads to an ancient Native American village that few people know exists. It sits atop a natural bluff and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Address: Millstone Bluff National Register Site, Simpson, IL 62985
2. Grandview Drive
Spanning two and a half miles between Peoria and Peoria Heights, this destination makes for a short and sweet day trip. Named "world's most beautiful drive" by Theodore Roosevelt, this wonderful drive offers excellent views of the Illinois River.
3. Garden of the Gods
The Shawnee Forest is full of remote destinations that will make you feel like you've gone completely off the grid. One of the most scenic areas, this wilderness of rock formations is unlike any other place in the Land of Lincoln. It is ideal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Address: Picnic Road, Herod, IL 62947
4. Cave-In-Rock State Park
The largest cave in the state, this giant rock formation has a 55-foot-wide mouth and is situated right on the Ohio River. It is surrounded by many hiking trails and forestry and is an ideal attraction for all nature lovers.
Address: 1 New State Park Road, Cave-In-Rock, IL 62919
5. Illinois Beach State Park
Spanning 6.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and more than 4,000 acres of northern Illinois, this is the most unique of the state's remote destinations. It is known for its beaches, abundant wildlife, and expansive outdoors activities.
Address: 1 Lake Front Drive, Zion, IL 60099
6. Burden Falls Wilderness
Spanning 3,775 acres of the Shawnee National Forest, this excellent destination is ideal for anyone who loves waterfalls. This scenic hike takes you past unique trees, cemeteries, abandoned roads, and so much more.
Address: 120 Lincoln Street, Stonefort, IL 62987
7. Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway
Nothing makes you feel like you're getting away from it all like this scenic road. It spans 33 miles of southern Illinois and begins at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The end point is further south near the Lewis and Clark Historic Site.
8. Mississippi Palisades State Park
Established in 1973, this National Natural Landmark preserves a special section of the Mississippi River. This 2,500-acre area is rich with Native American history, diverse ecosystems, nature trails, and outstanding sights.
Address: 16327A IL-84, Savanna, IL 61074
9. Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway
Another fabulous road trip for nature lovers, this scenic back road is part of an old French explorer route that follows the Illinois River. In addition to this amazing body of water, you'll also witness many wetlands, woodlands, prairies, and lakes.
10. Horseshoe Mound Preserve
Tucked away in northern Illinois is one of the state's least known remote destinations. This 40-acre area is home to Council Ring, which is made from giant stones that align with the sun on summer and winter solstices.
Address: 1679 North Blackjack Road, Galena, IL 61036
11. Starved Rock State Park
Established in 1911 and spanning 2,630 acres, this is one of the state's most popular state parks. Locals love to come here to get away from it all. It is full of trails that lead to canyons and waterfalls that will make you feel a million miles away from the Midwest.
Address: 2668 East 875th Road, Oglesby, IL 61348
12. Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive
This scenic back road is 140 miles of remote pastures, seasonal events, and historical architecture. If listening to music with the window down while you cruise the open road is your idea of a relaxing day, this is the place for you.
What other remote destinations in the state make you feel like you’ve left civilization behind? Share your favorites with us below in the comments.