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Autumn along the Blackhawk Waterways


Community Education Travel -
CET 2022

An autumn day in the Blackhawk Waterways Region of North Central Illinois is the perfect time to visit the area's rolling hills, historic attractions and experience an afternoon cruise on the Rock River. In the charming riverfront community of Dixon, travel back in time to an area that produced some of America’s greatest icons. After driving by the Ronald Reagan boyhood home, we’ll tour Northwest Territory Historic Center. This treasure, located in Dixon’s historic old school building, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute and features spectacular galleries of local Illinois and American History. Among the exhibits are interactive displays of the Illinois Blackhawk War and Chief Black Hawk, the region’s namesake. The Reagan History Room features presidential archive material, a dramatic portrait of Reagan made of Jelly Bellys and the former president's actual sixth grade classroom. Afterward, as we drive along the scenic Rock River, we’ll stop to visit the John Deere historic site in Grand Detour. The site features the exact location of the archeological site where John Deere revolutionized farming with the first steel plow. The scenic homestead also has a working Blacksmith Shop and the original John Deere Home. Cap off the day aboard the Pride of Oregon for their luncheon cruise. Delight in the beautiful scenery and colorful fall foliage on a two-hour cruise aboard this authentic paddlewheel boat on the Rock River. During the cruise, hear the interesting narrative of the legend of Chief Black Hawk as we cruise past the picturesque bluffs in Lowden State Park and the 50-foot Black Hawk Statue gazing over the Rock River Valley, thought to be the second largest concrete monolithic statue in the world.

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60031-0122
Forest View Educational Center : CET Departure Zone, North Parking Lot A
Friday, Oct 7
7:00 AM - 4:45 PM

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