Morton, Illinois is a picturesque yet up-and-coming town in the middle of the state. Among the area’s scenic, rolling hills, rivers, and forests, this town of less than 17,000 is set. As further proof of its idealic setting, Morton placed among the top-ten best towns for families in 2013 as judged by FamilyCircle.com.
In a town where a farmer’s field or church bell is never far away, there is actually a surprising number of great things to do here for entertainment. Want to learn more? Here are seven exciting activities to do in Morton, Illinois.
Go Pumpkin Picking
Although there has been some dispute over the years, as CBS reporter Mason Johnson discovered, Morton is the hands-down “Pumpkin Capital of the World.” Accounting for 82% of the world’s canned pumpkins produced, pumpkins are deeply ingrained in local industry and culture. Pumpkin picking here is therefore a much-celebrated, world-class experience.
Morton is completely surrounded by a map dotted in lakes, ponds, creeks, and rivers. For those that enjoy fishing, there is much to do here. “From the banks of Lake Wildwood, to the flowing currents of the Mackinaw River, the freshwater fishing here is abundant and fruitful,” said Village of Morton. Nearby Peoria Lake is an even bigger body of water, perfect for all types of water sports.
Attend a Festival
True to its roots as a big, little town in sleepy Illinois, Morton celebrates many traditions, seasons, and holidays with various parades and festivals. As the world’s official pumpkin capital, it is natural that several of these celebrations are set to pumpkin harvest time in the fall. These events typically draw more than twice the town’s population in visitors. This is simply because of the unrivaled fun of the revelry. “Punkin Chunkin”, or cannon and catapult-launching of pumpkins, world record contests, marathons, food shows, carving competitions, parades, and more draw the masses annually.
See a Performance at BFPAC
The BFPAC stands for Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center. It is the town’s center for concerts, exhibitions, guest speakers, seminars, professional training, and more. There are many exciting performances to choose from at the performing arts center. Choose from local acts like junior ballet performances or school bands, or check out some adult plays or conferences. You can look online at Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center for all listings and showtimes.
The combined natural geography and structural layout of the town translate to some great bike-riding opportunities. Casual and serious bikers alike can enjoy the miles of open roadways, scenic paths, and bike trails afforded by this location. Specifically speaking of bike trails, the Morton Community Bikeway as well as surrounding, bike-specific trails makes this area an ideal spot for those with the love of riding on two wheels.
As mentioned above, there are many trails and pathways in and around Morton. As well as for bikes, these also provide plenty of activity space for walkers, joggers, and hikers alike. One can choose to explore around town or wander outside, into the surrounding, rolling landscape. Northwest of town, along Ackerman Creek one can experience the rise in elevation and even more hiking opportunities.
Visit Kennel Lake Sportsmen’s Club
The Kennel Lake Sportsmen’s Club is a prime slice of all the outdoors has to offer in this area of Illinois. It is a sprawling, outdoor reserve space known for its fishing, camping, nature-watching, and many other outdoor offerings. Membership is required for entry but can be purchased for a reasonable rate. For non-members, entry is still permitted in frequent cases of special events, gatherings, community dinners, and more.
Morton, Illinois is a fine piece of smalltown America; a near antiquity and rare gem in today’s populace world. It is also a place where the outdoorsperson can truly enjoy a lush lifestyle. This list of seven of Morton’s top features are sure to keep even the busiest of bodies occupied and entertained.