Henry County, Illinois Tourism Bureau Invites Visitors to Dance with Nature

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The holidays are over and snow is on the ground in Henry County, Illinois. Tourists who need a change of scenery should embrace the white, wintry scenery and travel the back roads to Henry County, Illinois.

"A Fine Winter Walk" By photographer Kris Love of Osco, Illinois

"A Fine Winter Walk" By photographer Kris Love of Osco, Illinois

On a crisp winter day, visitors can watch wildlife roam freely; eagles swoop majestically, or see a captivating winter sunset. Winter provides a landscape to invigorate the soul of anyone who visits the Henry County area. Henry County, Illinois has outdoor beauty in a rural landscape setting.

"Henry County is an especially satisfying example of the nurturing side of us - orderly fields, sturdy barns, and lovingly tended cattle. You can start the day well before dawn and get a genuine smile with your coffee, and collapse into a simple and clean room after a full day's shoot. No destination resorts here - the point is to be out in nature, the ‘real’ world," said Kris Love, an avid local photographer.

Love’s favorite photo area is the Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park; for nature photographers, this is a must. Love says, “It’s where I get the most bang for my buck.” Love describes a variety of photo shot possibilities: waterfalls and ice, historic wooden locks, a pair of joggers framed by bare trees, and maybe an eagle, deer, hawk, pheasant, or fox. Love says the canal is accessible in many locations by car, so it is easy to take short or long walks based on the weather. The canal is easily accessible via Interstate 80 with exits number 7 in Colona, number 19 in Geneseo, number 27 in Atkinson, and number 33 in Annawan. Love mentions another opportunity for outdoor photographers who enjoy cross-country skiing with a camera: Johnson's Sauk Trail Park. Sauk Trail has a winter population of geese and other birding opportunities.

Henry County, Illinois offers rural landscapes with various photographic opportunities from nature at Sauk Trail, ethnic history at Bishop Hill, wind towers at Galva, to Heritage Village, and the Henry County Courthouse in Cambridge. Area barns in snow also make hard-to-resist attractions, as does the historic architecture in Geneseo, Kewanee, Galva, and Orion. Photographers will find Henry County back roads colorful and joyful when the sun rises and sets against the open landscape.

Cathy Foes, Henry County Tourism Bureau Director, has an office at the Amtrak Station in Kewanee. Foes often sees photographers taking railroad photos as she looks out her office window. Foes has learned from the photographers that they are train enthusiasts and travel State Highway 34 from Chicago following the railroad. Their goal is taking pictures of trains and train stations along the way. “Photographers are in awe as they arrive in Kewanee and see the opportunity to photograph not only the new train station, but also the Kewanee Walldog murals created this past July,” said Foes.

Both Love and Foes encourage visitors to renew spirits along the Henry County back roads during any season. Relive Henry County heritage or connect with new friends with a warm, friendly hello in the restaurants and specialty shops. There is no shortage of fun in any season visitors come to Henry County. Colorful blossoms line the road in spring.

Summertime brings homegrown festivals and warm weather to explore our communities. In the autumn, Henry County gathers a bountiful harvest. Families visit for rural recreation to pick pumpkins and learn about Henry County agricultural roots at fall festivals. Visitors are invited to Henry County during any season; to have a great time and to come back often.

Henry County is located in western Illinois, between the Quad Cities and Galesburg, Ill. The fertile farmland is bisected by the Hennepin Canal and dotted with charming small towns replete with antique shops, bakeries, and country cafés. For information on everything visitors need to plan a getaway, including historic sites, attractions, and places to stay, contact the Henry County Tourism Bureau toll-free at 877-436-7926 or visit http://www.VisitHenryCounty.com.

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