Rock River Road Trip Tip | Grand Detour, IL

Where do the bison roam? Not far from the Rock River in Grand Detour, IL at Nachusa Grasslands!

For a one of a kind hiking and birding experience check out the 3,800-acre Nachusa Grasslands preserve. It consists of large remnant prairie, woodlands, and wetlands and is one of the largest and most biologically diverse grasslands in Illinois. The Nachusa Grasslands Visitor Center pavillion is open every day from dawn to dusk featuring exhibits that tell the story of Nachusa. From there, you can hike around the Center, or drive to one of five trailheads and explore. The prairie, wetlands, and woods are open to the public every day from dawn until dusk.

Blanding’s turtles and many other uncommon or rare animals call Nachusa home. Grassland birds perch in the colorful prairie grasses and the preserve is home to 180 species of birds and 700 native plant species.

Bison were introduced in 2014 as the first conservation herd in Illinois with their primary job to help maintain the health of the prairie at Nachusa. Their grazing behavior and the effects they have on the prairie with their hooves and horns naturally promotes biodiversity and help a wide range of wild flowers, plants, insects and amphibians to flourish. Nachusa’s herd is comprised of 110 animals, with roughly 40 calves arriving each spring, bringing the herd total to 150.The bison can be viewed from the public roadsides only. The herd roams across 1,500 acres of rolling land and are often not visible from the road. Binoculars are helpful to see them.
Learn more at
Facebook: Friends of Nachusa Grasslands

Explore The John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour

The John Deere Historic Site​ is the original Illinois homestead of John Deere . Hear the clang of the hammer…Feel the heat from the forge…Watch the iron melt and take shape. Stand in the spot where John Deere created the first commercially successful steel plow, and relive the experience of his original blacksmith shop.

Then head on down the Rock River to Moline, IL to visit the John Deere Pavilion​ where you can climb into the cab, sit in the driver’s seat and test your skills in state-of-the-art simulators.
Learn more about the Rock River History Trail 
Learn more about the John Deere museums