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Recreation in and around Princeton Illinois

Princeton's rural setting affords visitors ample opportunity to pursue their favorite outdoor or recreational activity. Whether you are a fitness buff, an outdoorsman, or simply wish to pack up the picnic basket and share a wonderful afternoon outside with the family, our community and the surrounding countryside provide a variety of parks and waterways perfect for any manner of outdoor activity including golf, biking, jogging, hunting, fishing, canoeing, and more.

Princeton Park District

Our community is blessed with the wonderful Princeton Park District, which, year in and year out, tirelessly maintains over 192 acres of parks, the Bureau County Metro Center, and the public outdoor Alexander Swimming Pool.


Each summer, the Alaxander Park Pool is open to the public, giving young and old alike a chance to cool off from the summer heat!
The Bureau County Metro Center is a 50,000 square-foot recreation center featuring a full size gymnasium; 25-yard indoor swimming pool with wading pool and observation balcony; racquetball courts; weight room; cardiovascular room, elevated running/walking track above the gym; and locker rooms. A 40' x 80' multi-purpose room with adjacent kitchen provides the perfect setting for conventions, expositions, meetings, or wedding receptions. The Park District Staff at the Metro Center strive to provide a continuous schedule of fun and exciting events, leagues and classes keeping our residents and visitors active & entertained all year long.

Our green areas include the twelve acre Alexander Park which hosts a 9-hole disc golf course, six tennis courts, outdoor Alexander pool, horseshoe pits, barbecue & picnic areas, shelter, restrooms, playground and sand volleyball. West Side Ball Park provides 2 baseball diamonds, restrooms, and concession stand and is host to a ball game nearly every evening between May and August.


This quaint log cabin style pavilion is nestled in Princeton's sceneic City County Park and where the timber's canopy makes it the perfect location for picnics, cook-outs and other outdoor events.
Zearing Park is a sprawling 72 acre park on the southeast corner of Princeton where you can find 3 baseball fields, shelters, picnic and barbecue areas, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, playground, and concession stand. Zearing Park is also the home of a 3 acre fully stocked pond, walking path, and outdoor soccer complex.

Our City County Park is a 65-acre park nestled throughout a natural woodland setting just north of town offering hiking trails, barbecue areas, log cabin shelter, playground, ball field, and restrooms. It is often the location of Boy and Girl Scout Day Camps and our annual Shadows of the Blue and Gray Civil War Reenactment each October.

For more information about our community parks and planned Park District activities, please visit www.princetonparkdistrict.org.


Hennepin Canal Parkway


A day spent along the banks of the Hennepin Canal offers visitors a chance to take in the natural beauty and rich history of the Bureau County countryside.
Now including over 90 miles of surfaced bike trails, 70 miles of equestrian trails, 150 miles of scenic hiking trails, and 90 miles of snowmobile trails, the Hennepin Canal Parkway has become a favorite destination for cyclists, horseback riders, hikers and sleders alike and is an exceptional spot for fishing, birding, canoeing and a wealth of other outdoor activities. For those looking to spend a night under the stars, it also offers camping areas at many of the locks, parks and waypoints along its path.

For those looking to learn more about the Hennepin Canal or plan a trip, may we suggest visiting the Hennepin Canal Vistors Center located in near by Sheffield, where you can find a wealth of information about the history and construction of the canal, including displays that help illustrate the canals past, as well as the plant and animial life that makes its home along the canal's banks.



Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway Gateway Waypoint in Princeton, IL is a wonderful steeping off location as you cruise the beautiful sceneic roadways through the Illinois River Valley.

Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway

Experience the many natural and historical Princeton Gateway waypoints along the picturesque Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway.

From their website...

The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway preserves the natural river country along the banks of the Illinois River, so visitors can travel the same route as early French explorers. Get close to nature and see just what the Illinois River Road has in store for you. Whether hiking the bluff trails, biking our historic canal towpaths, wetting a fishing line or canoeing in one of the beautifully restored wetlands, or simply enjoying serene wildlife habitats, you'll be immersed in the rich history and beauty of the Illinois River Valley."

Outdoor Recreation Directory & Map

Select listing in the left column to zoom in on its map location. More info, when available, can be accessed by then clicking on the map pin.

Alexander Park & Pool S. Anderson St
Princeton, IL
Website
The twelve acre Alexander Park which hosts a 9-hole disc golf course, skate park, six tennis courts, outdoor Alexander pool, horseshoe pits, barbecue & picnic areas, shelter, restrooms, playground and sand volleyball.Alexander Park & Pool

Bureau County Metro Center 837 Park Ave West
Princeton, IL
815-872-0840
Website
The Bureau County Metro Center is a 50,000 square-foot recreation center featuring a full size gymnasium; 25-yard indoor swimming pool with wading pool and observation balcony; racquetball courts; weight room; cardio-vascular room, elevated running/walking track above the gym; and locker rooms. A 40' x 80' multi-purpose room with adjacent kitchen provides the perfect setting for conventions, expositions, meetings, or wedding receptions.Bureau County Metro Center

City-County Park N on Rt. 26
Princeton, IL
Website
Our City County Park is a 65-acre park nestled throughout a natural woodland setting just north of town offering hiking trails, barbecue areas, log cabin shelter, playground, ball field, and restrooms.City-County Park

Westside Ball Park S Randolph & W Marion St
Princeton, IL
Website
Westside Ball Park is hustling and bustling with activity during the baseball and softball seasons. It hosts two baseball diamonds and a consession stand during events.Westside Ball Park

Zearing Park S Euclid St
Princeton, IL
Website
Zearing Park is currently a 72 acre park on the southeast corner of Princeton. You will find 3 ball fields, soccer fields, shelters, picnic and barbecue areas, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, playground, and concession stand. Zearing Park is the future site of a pond, walking path, and outdoor soccer complex.Zearing Park

Chapel Hill Golf Course & Events Center 12927 County Road. 26
Princeton, IL
815-879-6531
Website
Chapel Hill in Princeton, IL is a public 18-hole championship course well know for its plantation style clubhouse dating back to its turn of the century charm and history. Chapel Hill, the perfect location to host your next group outing or wedding venue.Chapel Hill Golf Course & Events Center

Indian Hills Golf Club 9468 1725 E St
Tiskilwa, IL
815-646-4856
Website
Indian Hills is a 9-hole public golf course.Indian Hills Golf Club

Wyaton Hills 17879 1500 N Ave.
Princeton, IL
815-872-2641
Website
A challenging 9-hole public golf course with rolling hills with a friendly family atmosphere.Wyaton Hills

Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park 16006 875 East Street.
Sheffield, IL
815-454-2328
Website
The entire 105-mile waterway is a state park listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Though there are access points all along the canal, the best place to begin your exploration of Hennepin Canal State Park is at its visitor's center near Sheffield. At the center you can view detailed maps, talk to staff about recent birds sited, and learn about the natural history of the park.Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park

Mautino State Fish & Wildlife Area 16006-875 East Street
Sheffield, IL
815-454-2328
Website
Mautino State Fish & Wildlife Area consists of 911 acres of mostly unclaimed strip mind land featuring 15 stocked fishing lakes by either boat or shore. Great area for boating, fishings, canoeing, kyaking and hiking.Mautino State Fish & Wildlife Area