Outdoor Recreation

  • Peoria Park District - The Pleasure Driveway and Park District of Peoria, organized in 1894, was the first park system formed in Illinois. Seventy years later in 1963, the City of Peoria Playground and Recreation Department merged with the Park District, thus expanding the potential program and facility responsibilities of the Park District. Today the Peoria Park District's boundaries encompass approximately 57 square miles in Peoria County. Its park and open space holdings in the City of Peoria, Peoria Heights, and outlying townships approach 9000 acres. Much of the land was acquired through matching grants from the federal Land-Water-Conservation Fund, the Illinois Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program, and many generous gifts and donations. The Peoria Park District ranks first in the state and is one of the top public park systems in the nation based on its ratio of open-space holdings to population. Besides being one of the state's oldest and largest park districts, the Peoria Park District has also been recognized as an outstanding example of what parks and recreation are all about. The district has been awarded the National Recreation and Park Association's Gold Medal Award twice. It is also one of only eight Illinois park districts to be accredited as a Distinguished Park District. Our mission remains clear: To enrich life in our community through stewardship of the environment and through the provision of quality recreation and leisure opportunities. The Park District boasts: 
  • The Rock Island Trail stretches 26 miles from Alta Road in north Peoria to Toulon Illinois.  This well-traveled trail has been a popular spot for bicyclists, runners, and pedestrians.  
  • The Rock Island Greenway winds through Peoria from the north, through Peoria Heights, across War Memorial Drive, and currently ends at Spring Street.  Plans are underway to extend the Greenway to Peoria's Riverfront. 
  • Weaver Ridge Golf Club - What is perhaps Illinois' most spectacular Championship golf course is set in rolling hills and forested valleys, surrounded by the beautiful homes of Weaver Ridge. 
  • Wildlife Prairie Park is located a short drive from Peoria.  Discover the animals that called Illinois home during the pioneer days. This unique 2,000-acre zoological park is home to wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bear, elk, cougars, otters, and much more.