What’s happening in Ottawa

National Take a Hike Day




There are over 60,000 miles of trails in the United States, and Ottawa has some of the best to offer! Come out and celebrate National Take A Hike Day on Sunday November 17th  with two free guided hikes around Ottawa, Illinois!

Each hike focuses on a theme that makes Ottawa’s parks unique: learn about ecology and preservation at Dayton Bluffs, hear fascinating tales of Ottawa’s past on the I&M Canal, and experience some of the largest pieces of landscape art in the country at Buffalo Rock State Park! These hikes are an excellent way to get one last day out on the trails before winter sets in!  If you participate in any of the hikes you will receive a free collectible button (one button per participant, while supplies last)!


How do I participate?: This event is free and open to all ages, but you must RSVP to participate in these hikes. Reserve a space for any hike, or both, just visit or call 815-434-2737.


What should I bring?: You must provide your own transportation to any of these locations. Please make sure to bring seasonally appropriate hiking clothing and foot ware. This event is open to hikers of all experience levels, but bare in mind you will be hiking for over an hour on various grades and elevations.



Dayton Bluffs Hike:

  • 10:00am – 11:30am
  • From Indigenous American burial mounds, natural cascades, and beautiful forest scenery, seasoned Dayton Bluffs expert David Manigold will take you on a guided morning hike of Ottawa’s newest park!
  • 2997 IL-71, Ottawa, IL 61341 (Just to the North of Hanks Farm Restaurant)
  • Tour will depart from telegraph pole west of the parking lot at 10:00am

This FREE guided hike is provided courtesy of David Manigold and The Conservation Foundation.



Buffalo Rock:

  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm
  • Nestled between the serene prairie trails and magnificent river views at Buffalo Rock State Park are giant earthen sculptures! Join guide Ryan Searl as he recounts the history of this internationally renowned art installation, Effigy Tumuli Mounds, and gives you the storied history of Buffalo Rock State Park!
  • 1300 N 27th Rd, Ottawa, IL 61350


  • Tour will depart from the buffalo enclosure at 2:00pm

This FREE guided hike


Share your snaps with us! #pickusottawail

Planning your Trip? Let us help


Drop in and see us! Ottawa Visitors Center, 1028 La Salle Street, Ottawa IL 61350

Explore Ottawa

View Full Map