Irish folk band the Roundstone Buskers - guitarist Bruce Burton, left, fiddle player Shannan Sullivan, middle, and percussionist Tom Jones - perform on May 16, 2012 atop the Peoria Heights Water Tower as a helicopter film crew circles overhead. The group was participating in the filming of "Heartland Sound...Staged," a television pilot featuring local musicians performing in unusual places throughout central Illinois.
Nestled in the beautiful forested bluffs of the Illinois River, visitors to this unique 540-acre Nature Center and Preserve will experience the natural realm of Illinois, where they will find:
- Seven miles of hiking trails through both forested woodlands and prairie openings
- A natural history museum and bird observation room
- The Trailhead Nature Store with books and unique nature items
- A variety of musical and educational programs
- Over 500 acres of dedicated Illinois State Nature Preserve
Tower Park is adjacent to Village Hall. Built in 1968, it was totally renovated in 2003 with a large water fountain, 44’ pavilion for community events and a 200’ water tower with a woodpecker on its northern face that towers ten feet high.
The unique characteristic about the park is the 500,000-gallon water tower has three observation decks. Riding an exterior elevator 200 feet above Peoria Heights and the Illinois River Valley gives one a panoramic view of the entire area. On a clear day you can see for 20 miles. The theme for the park is View the Wonder.Read more
Grandview Drive is a two and a half mile scenic road with adjacent park areas through Peoria and Peoria Heights. Major portions of the road give a view of the Illinois River and its valley as well as clear views of the some of the most prestigious and historic homes in the area. President Theodore Roosevelt is said to have proclaimed it the "World's Most Beautiful Drive" during a 1910 visit.
Displayed prominently next to Village Hall is a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln. The larger-than-life sculpture was completed in 1908 by Gutzon Borglum, a renowned Swedish sculptor.
Borglum subsequently became internationally known for creating the grandiose Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The Lincoln bust is one of three in the world; the other two are located at Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois and the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.
A group of Peoria leaders came together in 1897 and leased 27 acres to make one of the nation's first country clubs. Unfortunately, the original country club burned down in 1920 and a new one was built similar to the old one. Generations of families and guests have enjoyed the club's breathtaking beauty of Grand View Drive and its panoramic view of the Illinois River.
The original 9-hole golf course (the first in Peoria) has been transformed into a championship 18-hole, par-72 course with 6, 229 yards of beautiful rolling hills and valleys. The club annually hosts the Maui Jim Invitational, featuring appearances from Senior PGA Tour Players, along with the Grand View Invitational, one of the oldest golf events held in Central Illinois.Read more