9401 W. Hart John Rd
Galena Illinois 61036United States
Midwest Living Recommends
With no frills and no gimmicks, these informal tours offer great views and fascinating history.
The word "tour" in Casper Bluff Tours is a bit of a misnomer. The 85-acre plot of land has 51 burial mounds, including a 1,000-year-old, 112-foot-by-75-foot Thunderbird effigy, and is thick with indigenous Mississippi River Flyway birds, making it both an archaeologist's and a naturalist's paradise. The "tour" consists mainly of a hike to the top of a big quiet hill with a great view of the Mississippi, where a passionate and extremely well-informed volunteer of Jo Daviess County Land Conservation will expound on the fascinating history of the site. The land was originally occupied by several Native American bands and was home to Blackhawk, the war chief. The guide is a walking encyclopedia about that aspect of the area's history; it's an interesting contrast to the emphasis on the Civil War and President Ulysses S. Grant that permeates Galena. Casper Bluffs also includes 3 miles of walking trails, although the Conservation currently does not have sufficient funds to maintain them well. Tours are only scheduled from 8 to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, as weather permits. You should definitely call ahead. Admission is charged for the tours. Nearby, Galena Log Cabin Getaway and Adventure Creek Alpaca Farm offers cabins that are rustic on the outside and sleek and modern on the inside, a nice alternative for those seeking a different type of Galena vacation.