While North Utica is the proper name for the city
, advertising on the interstate refers to the village by its original name, Utica. The original village of Utica grew along the north bank of the Illinois
River near the site of the Indian village Kaskaskia. However, with the construction of the Illinois-Michigan Canal in the 1830s and the regular river flooding, businesses and residents relocated closer to the new waterway. This area was called North Utica, which is the proper, but little used, name of the present village. Holiday lodging and accommodations ranging from vacation rentals and condo rentals truly reflect the history of the area. This history of Utica and the surrounding region can be studied at the LaSalle County Historical Museum located in the heart of the village.
Located close by visitors can experience the fun of outdoor adventure at Starved Rock State Park
. Whether you enjoy hiking along the nature trails or viewing the many spectacular overlooks along the Illinois River, recreational opportunities abound. From picnicking to fishing to boating, from horseback riding to camping to enjoying winter sports, there’s so much to do that you’ll come back again and again. Local accommodations and vacation rentals should have more information on the park. The backdrop for your activities is 18 canyons formed by glacial water and stream erosion. The park is best known for its fascinating rock formations
, primarily St. Peter
sandstone, laid down in a huge shallow inland sea more than 425 million years ago and later brought to the surface.
Accommodation, vacation rental and condo rental options are available in surrounding towns and villages around this popular park.
Another noteworthy park, Buffalo Rock State Park
is located on a bluff which was once an island in the Illinois River. Now standing majestically on the north bank, this promontory affords a magnificent sweeping view of the Illinois River. Located approximately three miles west of Ottawa in LaSalle County, this 298 acre park has long been a favorite picnic area, as well as a nature lover’s delight.
The picnic areas that are shaded by mature oak, hickory and walnut trees provide the perfect setting for a family picnic or special outdoor occasion. Picnic tables and cooking grills are provided. Two American bison call Buffalo Rock home. Their pen and grazing area is located across from the baseball diamond and they can be seen daily. For eager hikers, the River Bluff Trail offers a walk high above the Illinois River
with two observation decks with spectacular views of the Illinois River. The Woodland Trail provides an opportunity for close-up of the trees, plants and wildlife prospering in the park.
Utica is unique and visitors are spoiled with wonderful accommodation and vacation rental options that suit all budgets.