Short Vacation: Galesburg, Illinois

Jan 15 2015

Not far from the Iowa border is the west-central Illinois town of Galesburg. While it may not seem interesting on the surface, visitors who dig a little deeper will find a great small town steeped in history and ripe for exploration.

In fact, that’s the principal the town was founded upon, and exploration and adventure is a common theme that visitors will find today. And that’s what also makes it perfect for RV adventurers from around the country.

Let’s take a short vacation to Galesburg, Illinois.

WHERE TO STAY: LAKE STOREY ALLISON CAMPGROUND

Lake Storey, a natural crown jewel of Galesburg, has an interesting story behind it. Originally constructed in 1927, the lake provided water to cool the trains on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railways (the city’s water supply, at the time, was too harsh for critical engine components). Now the lake cools down locals and visitors alike, and serves as a great locale for year-round entertainment.

The lake offers a waterslide, boat rentals, fishing and serene RV camping that is perfect for families. The Allison Campground, one of a handful found on the 600-acre Lake Storey Recreational Area, offers full hookups and a quiet, scenic environment.

SNAKEDEN HOLLOW

Ok, the name might be intimidating, but rest assured: there’s no more snakes in Snakeden Hollow than anywhere else in the area.

With that in mind, Snakeden Hollow offers some of the most beautiful wilderness in the state. At more than 2,500 acres (400 of which is water), this park is a perfect spot for novice and expert fishermen alike. This park is truly for the outdoorsman, however: Snakeden Hollow offers little in the way of picnic and park-like amenities, but plenty in terms of hunting, boating and other outdoor activities.

HISTORY

Railroading played a huge part in the foundation of Galesburg and the surrounding area, and the history runs deep in the area, especially at the Galesburg Railroad Museum.

Featuring a half-dozen historic locomotives and rail cars, the railroad museum is a great place for families to learn more about the steel and diesel power that carved our country.

The Ronald Reagan Trail is also a popular destination in Galesburg. As one of a handful of communities that played a vital role in Ronald Reagan’s life, the city is ripe with important landmarks that were key to the Gipper.

ANNUAL EVENTS

There’s always another great festival going on in Galesburg. From Sandburg Days, which honors two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg, to railroad festivals, nearly every weekend is packed with something great to do for the whole family.

Photo courtesy locosteve