Illinois Weekend Getaway
If you are looking for an Illinois weekend getaway idea not far from the fast pace of Chicago or the busy streets of St. Louis, or anywhere in-between, Harpole’s Heartland Lodge and Resort is the perfect choice for your Illinois weekend getaway. Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic weekend getaway or looking for a family escape you will enjoy everything our resort has to offer. Situated along the Mississippi River bluffs in West-Central Illinois, Heartland Lodge has one of the most scenic river valley views in the Midwest. The incredible view is just ONE of the many reasons that guests visit us each year for an Illinois weekend getaway. Whether you live in Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, or Iowa, Heartland Lodge is just far enough from your home to provide you with the perfect weekend escape.
From the moment you drive onto the property at Heartland Lodge to the moment you walk through the front door, you can’t help but notice the beautiful, natural resort setting. All areas of the resort feature a nature-inspired decor including the sleeping rooms – each with a different wildlife theme. Hardwood floors are featured throughout Heartland Lodge so bring a pair of plush socks or house slippers and you’ll feel right at home!
Accommodations include several room options for you to choose from – anything from a regular room with two extra-long twin beds or the Whitetail Suite in the Original Lodge to a Luxury Suite with a king-size canopy bed and daybed in the Prairie Ridge Lodge to The Grand Suite & All About The View Suite in Sunset Valley Lodge to a private cabin at Heavenly View or Romantic Luxury Cabin. (All of our lodges and cabins can be booked privately for your group.) All of our beds are triple-sheeted with high-quality linens and are becoming quite the attraction themselves! Each room also includes a private bath and if you select to stay in the any of our suites, your room will feature a Jacuzzi tub! Most suites also have fireplaces!
All four lodges boast expansive covered porches with Amish-crafted Adirondack chairs for your pleasure. For those guests staying in our suites, your room features private access to the outside deck, perfect for enjoying the view.
The simplest, and in our opinion, the most enjoyable dining option for your weekend getaway is right here at the lodge. Add the meal package to your room reservation and enjoy a hearty brunch and dinner – all made from scratch. Guests enjoy such entrees as country ham, roast, pork chops or Cornish game hens along with sides of gourmet mashed potatoes and corn casserole. Begin and end your meal with homemade bread and desserts. Relax in the Great Room while waiting for the dinner bell to ring and you will enjoy the tantalizing aromas of Grandma’s cooking wafting from the kitchen.
If peace and quiet are your primary goals for your weekend getaway, Heartland is definitely the perfect choice for you. Step out onto the wrap around porches or back deck and you’ll see why Heartland Lodge is above the rest. The wooded surroundings, the fresh air, and the peace and quiet will envelope you as you connect with nature. Enjoy the sounds of the goldfinches or the antics of the hummingbirds while sitting in one of our Amish-crafted rocking chairs. Early morning risers might even see a deer or turkey roaming the grounds as the sun comes up over the horizon.
For the relaxing getaway, your day’s activities are endless. Grab a book and sink into one of the comfy chairs in your room or the recreation room and get lost in the written words of your favorite author. Treat yourself to snuggling up in front of the fireplace in your room, taking a nap in our ultra comfy beds, or soaking in a warm bath all while enjoying nature’s backdrop right outside your window. Check out the recreation room and play a game of cards or show off your skill at pool. Take a leisurely stroll and reconnect with nature – Heartland is happy to offer approximately 1200 acres to explore.
Looking for a little adventure during your weekend escape? Heartland Lodge offers a variety of outdoor activities to provide hours of fun & excitement! Check out the horseback riding trails – a horseback ride along miles of trails is the perfect way to enjoy Mother Nature. For a guided horseback ride, horses are available at the lodge for hourly horseback riding trail rides. Or if you have your own horses, boarding stalls are available at the stables at the lodge. Perfect for exploring over 700 rolling acres of forests, creeks and prairies on your own.
Looking for a little more speed? Plan to go ATV’ing, one of the most popular activities at the lodge. Heartland Lodge has some of the best ATV trails that Illinois has to offer and provides trails suitable for all levels of riders, from beginners to experienced riders. The lodge has ATV’s that can be rented by the hour or join the many other guests who bring their own.
If birds in the air excite you more than birds at the feeders, schedule a round of sporting clays. The lodge offers 15 stations for shooting clays, located on 15 acres surrounding the beautiful lodge and all in a variety of natural settings. This course is one of the best in the Midwest and will keep you coming back again and again.
Because of the unique location of Heartland Lodge, our guests can enjoy the local attractions in all directions on both the Illinois AND Missouri sides of the Mississippi River. Head west and explore historic Hannibal, Missouri, complete with tours of Mark Twain Cave and the author’s boyhood home (www.visithannibal.com). Head northward to Nauvoo, Illinois, “The Williamsburg of the Midwest” and experience life as the pioneers once did (www.historicnauvoo.com). Take a drive east to Springfield, Illinois, and visit the Land of Lincoln, rich in the history of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President (www.visit-springfieldillinois.com). And no weekend getaway at the lodge would be complete without a drive along The Loop. The Loop heads south along Illinois 96 and Route 100 through Grafton and Alton, into St. Louis, Missouri, west over the Mississippi River to St. Charles, Missouri and then north up Highway 79, Missouri’s Scenic Byway to Louisiana, Missouri and on to the lodge.
But as guests of Heartland Lodge, you will also find many activities in the charming little communities of Pike and Calhoun Counties right in Heartland’s backyard. Enjoy wine tasting and tours at the local wineries in Rockport and Barry, Illinois. Take a drive and check out the Twin Culverts or head to Pittsfield for the Abe Lincoln Talking House Tour.
The sunset hayride has become a favorite among returning guests as well as guests experiencing the lodge for the first time. The hour-long ride takes you along the scenic bluffs of the Mississippi River and past a working Elk farm, and horse and cattle ranches. The turn-around point offers one of the most amazing views of the Mississippi River valley and one of the most beautiful sunset views in the Midwest. Along the way, you will see an abundance of wildlife including whitetail deer, wild turkeys and all the beauty that God’s country has to offer.
Upon your return to the lodge, your guide will offer to light a roaring bonfire for your enjoyment. The bonfire comes complete with log chairs for seating and all the fixings for s’mores (marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey’s Chocolate.) Just keep adding another log to the fire and you will find yourselves enjoying it for hours.
Because it is nestled in-between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, Heartland Lodge is the perfect location for horseback riding. This unique Midwest location offers over 40 miles of trails on over 700 acres. You will ride through prairies, creeks and forests while enjoying the scenic views of the rolling hills surrounding you. Feed, water, and stall care are provided if your board your own horse in one of our stalls. Horses are also available through the lodge if you do not have a horse. For more information go to our Horseback Riding page>>
ATV trail riding has become very popular at Heartland! Enjoy the incredible outdoors as you ride over 40 miles of trails on 700 rolling acres will take you through forests, creeks, and prairies. Heartland has trails for every skill level of rider – from the novice to the more experienced.
If you have your own ATV, bring it with you and spend hours exploring the ATV trails. If you do not have an ATV to bring, Heartland has ATV’s available for rent. There is no better way to enjoy the beautiful countryside surrounding the lodge than a ride on an ATV. (Day passes are available for the ATV park and trails without staying at the lodge.) For more information go to our ATV Riding page>>
The Sporting Clays course at Heartland Lodge is strategically located throughout the rolling hills of Southern Pike County. Open all year, the course is made up of fifteen exciting and challenging stations. The shooting stations are designed for all skill levels – from the novice to the seasoned shotgun expert. (Sporting Clays can be booked without staying at the lodge.) For more information go to our Sporting Clays page>>
If you are a cyclist, bring your bike on your weekend getaway! Heartland Lodge also has bikes available to rent and is a great place to ride and enjoy the scenery.
There are two bike trails that will provide you breath taking views, both while running parallel with the Mississippi River. The Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail on the Illinois side runs from Pere Marquette State Park to Alton, Illinois and is nearly twenty miles one way! The Clarksville River Trails, a ten-mile one-way trail runs between Louisiana and Clarksville on the Missouri side of the river. For more information go to our Biking Riding page>>
Exploring both the Illinois and Missouri sides of the Mississippi River along The Great River Road and National Scenic Byway is an outstanding day trip. While driving “The Loop”, you will travel through towns like Clarksville, MO and Grafton, IL and cross the bridges in Alton, IL and Louisiana, MO. You can even use the Golden Eagle Ferry, Kampsville Ferry or Brussels Ferry to cross the river. There are many attractions along this route to highlight your drive. Keep your eyes to the sky for the chance to see an eagle during eagle watching season. Read our blog on The Loop>>
Springfield, Illinois is full of history and attractions that are connected to our 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln (www.visit-springfieldillinois.com). Visit one of the most popular sights by going to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Check out the Lincoln Home National Historic Site or Lincoln’s Tomb. Suggested walking paths will allow you to “Walk in Lincoln’s Footsteps” as you tour more of the Illinois State Capital.
Historic Hannibal, Missouri is the birthplace of Sam Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain. Visit the many places that Mark Twain made famous in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn including Mark Twain Cave. Admission to The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum also includes the Interpretive Center, Huckleberry Finn House, J.M. Clemens Justice of the Peace Office, and the Mark Twain Museum Gallery. http://www.visithannibal.com
You can also learn a little bit about Molly Brown by visiting the Molly Brown Birthplace & Museum. Molly Brown was on her way to Hannibal when the Titanic sank! Check out the old-fashioned trolley sightseeing tour – one of the easiest ways to explore Hannibal.
A fun and interesting activity available in Pittsfield, Illinois is the Abe Lincoln Talking House Tour. Pittsfield claims to have more houses and sites associated with Abraham Lincoln than any other place in the country. Pick up a map and radio information at the Pike County Visitor Center, and then tune in to the FM radio station associated with each stop. Each stop will feature a short story and history of the building and the residents who lived there. More information on the Abe Lincoln Talking House Tour>>
The small towns and communities surrounding Heartland Lodge are a great place for antique shopping. The Clarksville Antique Center, located on The National Scenic Byway in Clarksville, Missouri, is a large antique mall with over 100 booths, display cases and vendors. Louisiana, Missouri has a couple of places located on Georgia Street. The Painted Horse at Summer Hill are located on IL Highway 54 but you will find many other treasure shops in the countryside surrounding the lodge.
So if you are looking for a great weekend getaway, Heartland Lodge is THE resort for you. Come to Heartland Lodge to connect with nature, family and friends, or even yourself, and experience one of the best weekend getaways in the Midwest. The setting, the accommodations and the amenities will keep you coming back for more!