Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site

Great Rivers & Routes

Find outstanding adventures in southwest Illinois, from Route 66 and the Great River Road to stunning state parks and fun along the Mississippi River.

Great River Road at Alton Illinois in fall

Discover the great outdoors inside the Midwest. The Great Rivers and Routes region of southwest Illinois is the only place where two of America’s great roadways—the Great River Road and Route 66—meet alongside the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers.

Spanning six counties and 39 cities and towns in southwestern Illinois, the Great Rivers and Routes region is home to stunning beauty and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation at scenic sites like Pere Marquette State Park (the largest state park in Illinois) and Lake Lou Yaeger Recreation Area, a 1,400-acre (5.7 square kilometer) lake that’s a popular spot for boating and fishing. Other popular outdoor attractions include Grafton Zipline Adventures, Raging Rivers Waterpark, and the Grafton SkyTour, which allows riders to take in the views in an enclosed gondola or open chair lift as they travel 300 feet (90 meters) in the air from the banks of the Mississippi River to Aerie’s Resort at the top of the bluff. There, you’ll find Aerie’s Alpine Coaster, which takes riders down the bluff on a coaster car that winds through forested hills on a thrilling ride.

History lovers will find a lot to enjoy in the Great Rivers and Routes region, too. The Lewis & Clark State Historic Site memorializes the starting point of the western explorers’ epic adventure near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. (Don’t miss the views at the nearby Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower.) Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that tells the story of the largest prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico.

And don’t forget the historic sites and scenic views along the Great River Road, Route 66, and the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. Find your next great adventure in the Great Rivers and Routes region of southwest Illinois.

Contact Information

Address 200 Piasa Street, AltonGet directions