Thursday, January 4, 2018

Inside Illinois' DNR January 2018

Below is a message from Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal.  As the Director states January 2018 is still a great time to enjoy the outdoors.  Unfortunately, he forgets to mention the remaining days of hunting season, ice fishing season and outdoor shows throughout Illinois which all contribute greatly to our economy and small businesses.

A Message from Director Wayne Rosenthal -

As we welcome in the New Year, I hope you’ll plan to spend some time with us at our great Illinois state parks, state museums, and state historic sites during 2018.

January and the winter months may not seem like an ideal part of the year to spend time outdoors, but we have plenty of winter recreation and cultural options for you if you’re looking to get out of the house. 
If the state park trails aren’t snow covered or iced over, a brisk hike or winter bike ride is a great way to get the blood flowing, to build up steps on your pedometer, and to meet your post-holiday fitness goals. If there is a blanket of snow, grab the snowshoes or cross-country skis and spend a day at a park. 
Birders and other wildlife watchers enjoy a crisp winter day, when birds and other critters are easier to see with leaves off the trees. And winter is the prime time of the year for eagle watching in Illinois. asf
Bald Eagle Days at Pere Marquette State Park – on select dates throughout the winter – are free (reservations required) and include a driving tour of bald eagle hot spots in and around the park. Check the details here: 
Starved Rock State Park’s Bald Eagle Watch Weekend is another popular annual January event, this year on January 27-28. For more details on Illinois eagle watching events, check the website at 
The Illinois State Museum, Dickson Mounds Museum, and ISM Lockport Gallery have great exhibits and special programs throughout the year, and winter is no exception. If the kids are suffering from cases of cabin fever this winter, plan a day letting them experience Illinois history, art, and culture in museum settings that help make learning fun. Check the Illinois State Museum website for details on events and other activities at 
Our state historic sites also have winter hours, so kick the snow or slush off your boots and visit some of our more than 50 historic sites, located in every corner of Illinois. Call ahead to check operating days and hours. Take the entire family to step back in time and enjoy the rustic beauty and awe-inspiring feeling you’ll experience sampling Illinois history – the last 200 years and beyond. Historic sites information is on the IDNR website at

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