2021 Roadtrip to Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello Illinois on October 5th

My visit

Several months have passed since I hit to road on a "Roadtrip". I got myself too caught up in working. Well, it's now October, and it's definitely time for more roadtrips! Allerton Park was a 2 1/2 hour drive, but it was worth it. This was a solo trip. I'll be going back in the spring. I didn't get to see the entire park on this visit. If you enjoy gardens, this place needs to be on your list. There is no entry fee.

General Info

(from https://allerton.illinois.edu/)

Built as a private residence by artist and philanthropist Robert Allerton in 1900, Allerton Park and Retreat Center is a historical treasure that was donated to the University of Illinois in 1946. The property contains 1,500 acres of woodland and prairie areas, a mansion and reflecting pond, a 10-acre meadow, formal sculpture gardens, hiking trails, a café, and several lodging facilities.

Away from the distractions and noise of everyday life, Allerton offers a unique opportunity to experience art, nature, and history. Explore 14 miles of hiking trails, wander through formal gardens with over 100 garden ornaments, and marvel at the quiet, expansive grounds. Organized programs open to the community and visitors include outdoor concerts, youth summer camps, themed dinners and educational events, nature hikes, and tours.

Robert Allerton officially gifted his house and grounds, plus an additional 3,600 acres of farmland, to the University of Illinois on October 24, 1946. The deed of gift stated that the property “be used by the University as an education and research center, as a forest and wild-life and plant-life reserve, as an example of landscape gardening, and as a public park.” At that time, it constituted the most generous gift extended to the University.

Befitting a splendid Georgian manor house, Allerton’s 14 Formal Gardens feature extensive plantings and over 100 ornaments and sculptures to discover. The Gardens were designed by Robert and John Gregg Allerton in the Beaux arts/Neoclassical style during the American Country Place era between 1902 and the late 1940s. They are defined by divided ‘rooms’ bordered by pruned hedges and long allees with statues as strong focal points.

Check out the Illinois Local Parks galleries by clicking here!

My 2021 Roadtrip Slideshow


The Sunken Garden

A Stream along the Trail

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