Peoria

Unfurl your sails, cast a line or enjoy the river view from the deck of a speeding powerboat. Leave the chaos behind and get in touch with the great outdoors in the Peoria Area. If you enjoy biking, hiking, boating, fishing, hunting or just bird watching, we invite you to come take advantage of the numerous parks, wetlands, lakes and of course, the Illinois River in Central Illinois.

So grab your boots or your bike and enjoy more than 180 miles of biking trails — choose to meander along on a scenic riverfront ride or test your skills on some of our more difficult and challenging trails at Wildlife Prairie Park. And don’t forget to look for the bison, elk, bear and bald eagles that inhabit the park. Hundreds of these majestic birds also nest along the river valley and hiking trails there, and can best be seen in the winter months.

For the water bound enthusiast, the Peoria Area offers some of the most amazing outdoor activities. Of course there is sailing, boating, kayaking and water skiing, but have you ever gone bow fishing? The flying Asian Carp that are populating our waterways are very entertaining to watch and hunt. Cruise the Illinois River and the sound of the boat engine will make these fish jump out of the water, giving lots of opportunities for target shooting. These hilarious over-populated fish have led to some very unique events and festivals. This July 12th, Peoria hosts the first Flying Fish Festival and Bow Fishing Tournament open to both amateur and professionals. (facebook.com/pages/Peoria-Flying-Fish/403370746473075). If bow hunting isn’t for you, the Original Redneck Fishing Tournament downstream in Bath on the first weekend in August, just might be! Imagine going fishing to see how many Asian Carp you can catch in one day! There’s no limit on what you use; everything from fishing nets to tennis rackets and many things in between.

Boaters love the docks along the Peoria Riverfront, a popular destination on summer nights for outdoor concerts. Stay on shore and hop on a Segway to see the unusual sculpture along our 3-mile river walk, or watch a sailboat race on a Saturday morning. Whether you choose to explore the great outdoors by foot, bike or boat make sure you put the Peoria Area on your “to do list”. With “so many ways to play” it will be difficult to do it all in one visit. enjoypeoria.com