Black Hawk State Historic Site is located on Illinois Route 5 (Blackhawk Road). The site can be easily accessed from three major highways: Route 88 (Illinois Toll Road) which becomes Route 5; I74 (exit John Deere Road West); and I280 (exit 15--Milan). Parking is found at several locations in the site though the main parking areas are found on both the east and west sides of the Watch Tower Lodge (south side of the road).
Site Amenities and Recreation Opportunities:
Museum: Hauberg Indian Museum interprets the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians c. 1820. CCC Museum tell the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp stationed at Black Hawk 1933-35. Both museums are located in the Watch Tower Lodge.
160 acres of forest, included in which is a 100-acre nature preserve, one of only three forests of its type to remain in an undisturbed condition and owned by the State of Illinois. Over 6 miles of hiking trails (rated moderate difficulty) wind through the ravines and ridges of the site.
Museum Hours: March through October: 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. November through February: 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Natural Areas: Sunrise to 10 p.m., daily.
Special Closings and Special Events:
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Upcoming Special Events:
See web site for hours. Valentine Indoor Music and Moonlight Walk on February 14, 2013. Stroll Thru Springtime, guided bird and wild flower walks, April 27, 2013. Other events listed on the web site.
Natural Site Characteristics:
100 acre nature preserve, dominant oak-hickory forest, with a biodiverse array of spring woodland wild flowers. Notable species: Jack in the Pulpit, Bloodroot, Wild Geranium, and many more. Excellent birding. Residents of note: Pileated Woodpecker, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Great Crested Flycatcher, and many more. River Trail winds along the Rock River with exposed sandstone bluffs and limestone outcroppings. Also found along the river trail are remnant species of savannah plants such as False Toadflax, Wild Prairie Rose, Little Bluestem, and many more.