Grafton is the oldest city in Jersey County, Illinois, near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. According to the most recent census, the town had a population of 626 people, down from a peak of over a thousand in 1993. There are plenty of fun activities to keep you entertained during your visit to Grafton.
There are a lot of activities to do in Grafton, Illinois in the wintertime. You can go ice skating, cross-country skiing, and more. The city has a great trail system and many local rental shops. If you are a beginner, you can rent a ski or cross-country ski from a local shop.
You can also enjoy hiking and biking at Grafton Notch State Park. The park is a natural park that includes many trails and a portion of the Appalachian Trail. The Grafton Notch Loop Trail offers scenic views and wildlife.
If you want to take your exercise to a new level, cross-country skiing is a great way to do it. Several nearby forest preserves offer great cross-country skiing trails. These groomed trails are perfect for beginners and family outings.
For those who enjoy nature, cross-country skiing is a great way to enjoy scenic views of Lake Michigan. There are several miles of groomed trails and a heated log cabin shelter in Black River State Forest. Located in Grafton, the area also offers many other outdoor activities. The town has several equestrian trails and rock climbing sites.
One of the premier cross-country skiing facilities in Grafton is the Sagawau Nordic center. This facility offers rentals and lessons. It also features groomed and tracked trails. When the weather conditions are appropriate, Sagawau Nordic transforms into a full-service cross-country skiing center and provides lessons for all levels.
Zip line adventure
If you are in the mood for a fast-paced treetop adventure, you can find it at the Grafton Zipline. This zip line adventure features rope bridges and trails that are sure to thrill. Plus, it ends with a surprising surprise. Traveling from bluff to bluff, the zip line reaches a top speed of 45 miles per hour! Guests can also enjoy an amazing view of the confluence of the Illinois River and the Mississippi River as they fly over the scenic bluff.
Grafton Zipline features seven thrilling ziplines that range in length from 300 to over 1600 feet. The ziplines travel from bluff to bluff, and feature rope bridges and trails to provide you with the most exciting experience. The course also offers an exciting surprise ending, and is a great way to get a new perspective on the confluence of the Illinois River and Mississippi River.
In addition to allowing zipline enthusiasts to experience a thrilling zip adventure, the zip line course at Grafton Zipline is designed with safety in mind. Its design was carefully planned, involving arborists who examined the potential trees for the zip lines. Additionally, trained zipline construction experts came to Grafton to build the new zip line course. Once the zip line system was completed, it underwent state licensing and rigorous testing before opening to the public.
In addition to zip line tours, Grafton Zipline offers a fun night zip tour and haunted zombie tours. The zip line runs on the grounds of a resort and winery. The Grafton Zipline is the longest zip line in Illinois.
Dickson Mounds Museum
If you’re looking for something different to do in Grafton, Illinois, you’ll want to check out the Dickson Mounds Museum. Located near the Illinois River, this museum is an exciting way to learn about the history of Illinois and its native people. Visitors can enjoy lakeside activities and wildlife viewing while learning about the history of the area. You can even participate in hands-on activities like crafts and interpretive exhibits.
While you’re in town, be sure to stop at Grafton Harbor Floating Winery. If you’re craving a glass of wine, you’ll have plenty of places to indulge. You can also visit Grafton’s Aerie’s Resort for lodging, and the Mary Michelle Winery is located in Pere Marquette State Park. Taking a boat tour to the winery is another unique option.
If you love animals, check out the American Bald Eagles, which frequent Grafton from January to late February. You might even see one or two while walking the streets of the area. Or, you can take a self-guided tour to view the birds. You can also purchase a copy of the Eagle Watchers Guide from the Alton Visitor Center.
For those who enjoy shopping, Grafton has a variety of shops and attractions. The Lady LaMarsh Gallery and Gifts offers a variety of handcrafted items and artwork. Visitors can also purchase unique dishware and lawn ornaments. The city is also home to the Grafton Art in the Park Festival, where you can see diverse art displays, unique jewelry, and family-friendly activities.
Pere Marquette State Park
Located in Jersey County, Illinois, Pere Marquette State Park is an 8,050-acre protected area. The park is situated near Grafton, Illinois, near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. The park is great for hiking, fishing, and swimming.
The state park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It features nearly eight thousand acres of scenic beauty. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, and scenic drives. The park’s scenic views along the Mississippi River make it a great place to spend a day.
Pere Marquette State Park features a resort with a restaurant and conference center. The lodge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and has been updated several times. The resort’s restaurant serves delicious fried chicken, and the lodge has a 50-foot stone fireplace in the lobby. You can even dine outdoors on the patio overlooking the river.
Pere Marquette State Park is one of the most scenic places in Illinois. The park features natural formations that date back millions of years. Pere Marquette is free to visit and offers many recreational activities. A 3-D map of the park’s landscape and exhibits on local geology and history are available at the park’s visitor center.
Visitors can watch bald eagles over the Mississippi River while enjoying the scenery of Grafton’s riverfront. During winter, eagles migrate north for warmer weather and routinely soar over the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Bald eagles nest in the trees along the river banks, and it’s possible to even ride bikes on a paved bike trail along the river.
Art in the Park festival
Grafton, Illinois is a beautiful riverfront community with a wide variety of events. The town is home to a New Years Eve Fireworks celebration and the Witches on the Water Festival. It also hosts a weekly summer concert series called Music in the Park.
There are also many other activities to attend besides the Art in the Park festival. On October 8, you can attend the Harvest event at Grafton Winery the Vineyards. The festival will feature live music, local arts, crafts, and pumpkin picking. This event is free and open to the public. While in town, you can also attend the 8th annual Bra Walk sponsored by Working Toward a Cure. Also, on October 2nd, the Alton Little Theater will be presenting its annual production of Fach Tradition.
Art in the Park Grafton, Illinois is a free event that features live music, food vendors, and local artists. There are also demonstrations, art activities, and handmade jewelry. Admission to the festival is free for children. There is something for everyone at this festival.
If you love the art scene, Grafton offers many opportunities to experience art. The town is home to several museums, art galleries, and other events for art enthusiasts. The annual Art in the Park festival began July 4, 1976, and has become one of the city’s premier art events. The town is also home to the Columbus Arts Festival.
Visiting the Lincoln-Douglas debate
Visiting the Lincoln-Douglas debate is a must for history buffs, especially those who are fascinated by the Civil War. The debate is considered a touchstone of American history, summing up the fight between Lincoln and Douglas over the expansion of slavery to the West.
In 1858, Stephen A. Douglas proclaimed the Freeport Doctrine, a controversial statement about slavery and state rights. This statement came during the second debate between Lincoln and Douglas and resulted in division within the Democratic Party and the start of the Civil War. It’s now a self-interpreting memorial site, with waysides, plaques, and a granite boulder dedicated to the first President.
After the debate, you can visit nearby sites and activities. The Illinois River Road passes through Pekin, where Abraham Lincoln practiced law and fought against Douglas in the 1858 debates. Another famous location of the debate is the original courthouse in Beardstown, which has been the subject of numerous books and films.
While both Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas had a longstanding rivalry, they became friends. Douglas, a lawyer and surveyor, had been endorsed by Abraham Lincoln and encouraged by Douglas to run for the Senate.