Must Do Adventures In and Around the Heritage Corridor

Merriam-Webster's simple definition of adventure is "an exciting or dangerous experience."

You probably know some people that see adventure as jumping out of a plane or trying a new thrill ride. Others might see adventure as trying something new on a dinner menu. The word "adventure" invokes different experiences for different people.

That being said, we are going to try and cover the landscape with this article about adventure. We surveyed our email list and social media followers to see what they call adventure in the Heritage Corridor.

AIR ADVENTURES
Sky DiverThe most common adventure that came up was "taking the leap" and skydiving. Skydive Chicago is a great place to cross off that item from your bucket list. In fact, it's home to the 2016 FAI World Parachuting Championships.

If you can imagine, free falling for 60 seconds at up to 120 mph. Then, you get to relax as the chute deploys - giving you a 5 to 7 minute canopy flight to the earth below. Visit skydivechicago.com to find out more.

T-33

But maybe, you'd rather keep your feet on the group while dreaming about the skies. The Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook lets you actively imagine life in the skies through many of their restored aircraft, including a T-2, Nieuport 12, and T-33.

There is 6,000 square feet to explore at the museum, which is located at Bolingbrook's Clow International Airport. More information can be found at illinoisaviationmuseum.org.

WATER ADVENTURES
KayakKayak Morris gives you the chance to explore Starved Rock State Park like never before - by water. Depending on water levels, this three-hour adventure will take you from the Lone Point Shelter into the Illinois Canyon and back.

The awe-inspiring views of the bluffs are amazing, and one that regular hikers can't see. Visit kayakmorris.com to get more information about this and other kayaking tours.

Waterslide

But, if you're looking for a heart-pounding, jaw-dropping water adventure - take on the mythical beast Wonambi at Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville, IL. This is the latest addition to Illinois? largest outdoor waterpark.

You start by twisting through a 720-degree turn in complete darkness, than shoot out of the tunnel to climb the giant wave (achieving a near zero-gravity moment). You (with up to three other riders) will come splashing back down to terra firma, wanting to take on the ride once more. Plan your adventure at ragingwaves.com.

The Iron Bridge Trailhead, about 2.9 miles north of the Welcome Center, is the main access point to the bison area. Trained volunteers will be on hand to discuss the area's restoration and the bison depending on when you visit.

No visit along the corridor is complete without a ride on Lock 16 Canal Boat near LaSalle. Your boat will be pulled by mule lead by guides in period costume.

LAND ADVENTURES
Matthiessen FallsStarved Rock State Park is a widely known must-do adventure in Illinois, but another State Park has breathtaking views as well. Matthiessen State Park brings canyons, streams, prairie and forests together for a fun experience as well ? and its only minutes from Starved Rock.

Its main canyon is 45 feet deep and approximately one mile long. Beautifully colored rock walls, flora and fauna will provide you with a unique setting for photos and selfies. The State's DNR web site has more information, which you can see at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r1/mttindex.htm.

Biking, hiking or running on the I&M Canal Trail can take you on many adventures, but make sure to stop at the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site. Here, you'll get to explore just over a half-mile of paved trail that takes you through the remains of an iron manufacturing facility that ran from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. You will still be able to see foundations of blast furnaces and other structures from the dismantled factory.

You can visit The Forest Preserve District of Will County's web site, reconnectwithnature.org, to learn more about this historic path, as well as see their schedule of bicycle tours and interpretive hikes.

CULINARY ADVENTURES
Cool, refreshing watermelon saladLaSalle's The Pink Chihuahua will take you on a sensory adventure that you will remember - whether you have a seasoned palate or are a picky eater. Their tapas include a Mango and Brie Quesadilla (which is grilled with pepper jelly) and Beer & Pretzel bites (Wisconsin Cheddar Curds breaded in crushed pretzels and fried). For dinner, you might opt to try their Poblano Steak Grande (char-grilled flat iron steak topped with melted Chihuahua cheese, garnished with peppers, onions and tomatoes). Or, you might just want to keep it "Tried and True" with an angus burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar and pickles.

You can view their artistic menu at thepinkchihuahua.co.

PLENTY OF ADVENTURES
No matter your definition of adventure, you can find it here in the Heritage Corridor. In fact, you could call us "Chicagoland's Largest Playground." From SW Chicago to Starved Rock, Joliet to Pontiac, there are so many exciting and awe-inspiring things to do. Make sure to explore our web site to find your next adventure ... it's surprisingly closer than you think.

 

Scenes from Around the Corridor