Illinois River Road Byway Scenic Snaps Photo Contest

Illinois River Road Scenic Snaps Photo Contest Square

The Illinois River Road Byway Scenic Snaps Photo Contest is looking for winter themed photos from around the route which includes cities and towns that stretch along the Illinois River between Ottawa and Havana.  The historical experiences, scenic habitats, and unique restaurants and shops along this 291-mile stretch are a rich collective of experiences for visitors and residents alike.  Winter scenes along the Illinois River offer a wide range of photographic opportunities that show off the unique beauty of wildlife and other natural resources at this time of year.  The contest runs January 26 through February 9, 2022.

Editor’s Note:  The contest for 2022 is now finished.
The winners with their award-winning pictures are:

Illinois River Road Byway 2022 1st Place Photo Winner Illinois River Road Byway 2022 1st Place Photo Winner Illinois River Road Byway 2022 3rd Place Photo Winner
1st Place:  Chris Troxell, Canada Goose honking and landing on the ice near Havana 2nd Place: Amanda McGarvey, View of the Murray Baker Bridge from East Peoria River Front Park 3rd Place: Kristen School, Old railroad bridge by Allen Park, Ottawa, Illinois

Entrants are asked to submit any original photo featuring nature, history or (of course) the Illinois River for a chance to win $100 for first place, $50 for second place, $25 for third place plus a commemorative Illinois River Road coin.   Entries should be uploaded at Once entered, entrants are encouraged to ask their friends and family to vote for their photo.

Illinois River Road Covered BridgePhotos should reflect opportunities along the geographic boundaries of the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway.  There are three legs of the Illinois River Road Byway which are listed below.

Illinois River Road Map

  • NORTHERN LEG: Ottawa to Spring Valley, 1½-2 hours from Chicago area, Rockford or Davenport, IA
  • CENTRAL LEG: Henry to Peoria/Peoria Heights, 3-4 hours from Chicago, St. Louis or Indianapolis
  • SOUTHERN LEG: Canton to Havana, an easy day-trip from Bloomington, Champaign, Quincy or Chicago area

Peoria area locations that offer opportunities for potential photos include Forest Park Nature Center, Grandview Drive, the Peoria Riverfront, Wildlife Prairie Park, any of Peoria’s many parks or sights from the bluffs on either side of the Illinois River (Peoria or East Peoria).  Photos can include wildlife and nature from area public recreation lands as well as the Illinois River along the Byway.

Contest entrants must be 18 years old. Full contest rules are available HERE.

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