When you take the back roads, nature is all around you. Whether you enjoy experiencing nature by foot, bike, boat or snowmobile, you’ll enjoy the season’s landscape. Spring’s wildflowers, summer’s profusion of green, autumn’s changing colors or winter’s stark beauty are all equally enchanting. Two of our best-known outdoor attractions are the Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park and the Johnson Sauk Trail State Park, but don’t stop there. We have a wide variety of additional enchanting outdoor attractions.
Henry County has some great designated bike paths — 96 miles worth of surfaced bike trails, in fact — but don’t forget about the back roads! When you travel our back roads by bike, you’ll be treated to the most glorious views. The perspective from two wheels looks completely different and is worth checking out. Designated bike trails include the Adventure Cyclist Association Northern Tier Bike Trail, the American Discovery Trail and Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park.
If you’re all about getting outside, maybe you don’t want to have to come inside at the end of the day. With Henry County’s multiple campgrounds, you don’t have to. The Timber Campground in Cambridge, Colona’s Scott Family Park in Colona, Geneseo Campground, and Chief Keokuk Campground in Kewanee are all great places to enjoy a campfire, fresh air, and a good night’s sleep under the starts. In addition, the Department of Natural Resources has multiple camping sites along the Hennepin.
Get a taste of canal history as you journey down the Hennepin Canal in a canoe or kayak. BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) or rent a craft at the Geneseo Campground.
Travel on horseback with more than 13 miles of equestrian riding trial in Henry County. Continue on the Hennepin Canal for 50+ additional miles. Want to combine a camping trip with your horseback riding? There’s an equestrian camping area on the south side of the Lock 21 area of the Hennepin.
The Hennepin Canal is stocked with bluegill, bass, walleye, and crappie; while the 58-acre lake at the Johnson-Sauk Trail State Recreation Area has largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and bullhead. You can ice fish in the winter at either place, too.
Does your idea of “roughing it” involve riding your golf cart off the fairway? We have outdoor experiences for you as well! Henry County’s golf courses will get you out in the fresh air, but never too far from indoor comforts. Courses include the Valley View Club in Cambridge, the Country View Golf Course and Maple Bluff Golf Club in Geneseo, Baker Park Public Golf Course in Kewanee and Hillcrest Event Center in Orion.
Golfing doesn’t always involve clubs and balls. If you prefer an alternative, we’ve got plenty of courses designed for disc golf, too, including Wiley Park in Galva, Richmond Hill Disc Golf Course in Geneseo, Baker Park Disc Golf Course in Kewanee and Chautauqua Park Disc Golf Course in Kewanee.