Illinois Cities, Rivers and Lakes

Illinois Cities, Rivers and Lakes

According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, Illinois is located in the midwestern region of the United States, between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The state is bordered by Wisconsin to the north, Iowa to the west, Kentucky and Indiana to the south, and Lake Michigan and Michigan to the east. Illinois has three distinct geographical regions: Central Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Southern Illinois.

Central Illinois is generally flat with some rolling hills in its northernmost regions. It is home to most of the state’s major cities including Chicago, Springfield, Peoria, Champaign-Urbana and Rockford. This region of Illinois consists mostly of prairies with some woodlands in its southernmost portions.

Northern Illinois consists mostly of low-lying wetlands such as marshlands and swamps as well as woodlands and forests rich with wildlife. This region is home to many rivers including the Des Plaines River which flows through Chicago into Lake Michigan.

Southern Illinois has a diverse landscape which includes rocky bluffs along its riversides as well as hills and valleys within its interior portions. This area also includes some mountain ranges such as Shawnee National Forest which stretches across parts of southern Illinois near the borders with Kentucky and Indiana. Southern Illinois also has a number of caves including Cave-In-Rock State Park near Golconda which attracts many visitors every year.


According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Chicago is the largest city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a major port city and a major center for industry, commerce, finance, telecommunications, and transportation. It is home to many world-class universities and museums, as well as numerous cultural institutions and iconic landmarks. The city is known for its vibrant music scene, diverse neighborhoods, and vibrant nightlife. Chicago’s architecture is renowned for its mix of modern skyscrapers with historic buildings from the 19th century. The city also offers a wide range of attractions including Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Grant Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. Chicago also has a number of world-renowned museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Science & Industry. The city has numerous theaters that host Broadway musicals as well as smaller venues that feature comedy acts or other performances. In addition to its many cultural offerings, Chicago also hosts an array of festivals throughout the year including Lollapalooza in August and Taste of Chicago in July.


The Mississippi River is the largest river in Illinois, and it forms the western border of the state. It is one of the most important rivers in North America, and it has a long history as an important transportation route. The Illinois River is another major river in the state, and it flows southward from its source at Lake Michigan to join with the Mississippi River. It provides a crucial link between Chicago and other cities along its course. The Wabash River is another major river in Illinois, and it flows eastward through much of the state before joining with the Ohio River. This river has been an important transportation route since colonial times, and it played a significant role in early American history. The Kankakee River also runs through Illinois, flowing south from its source near Lake Michigan before joining with the Illinois River near Kankakee. This river provides a vital connection between Chicago and other cities to its south. Finally, there are several smaller rivers that run through Illinois including Rock Creek, Fox River, Des Plaines River, Spoon River, Sangamon River, Vermilion River and Embarras Rivers which all contribute to making up the waterways of this great state.


Illinois is home to many lakes, the most prominent being Lake Michigan. This lake is the largest in the state and provides water to many of the towns and cities in Illinois. It is bordered by Wisconsin on its east side and Indiana on its west side. Other major lakes in Illinois include Lake Shelbyville, Rend Lake, Carlyle Lake, and Crab Orchard Lake. Lake Shelbyville is a reservoir created by damming the Kaskaskia River and covers 11,000 acres of land. It is popular for fishing and recreational activities such as skiing, boating, swimming, and camping. Rend Lake near Benton has over 18,000 acres of water that is great for fishing, boating, swimming and other recreational activities. Carlyle Lake has over 26,000 acres of water that provides excellent opportunities for fishing as well as a wide variety of recreational activities including camping and swimming. Lastly Crab Orchard Lake near Marion has more than 8300 acres of water that provides great opportunities for fishing as well as many other recreational activities including boating and camping. All these lakes provide an ideal environment for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy a variety of activities while taking in the beautiful views that Illinois has to offer.

Illinois Cities