Jo Daviess County
Take U.S. Route 20 from the Illinois state line in East Dubuque, through Galena to approximately 12 miles east of Galena and then south on Illinois Route 84, through Hanover, to the southern border of Jo Daviess County.
The route continues from the northern border of Carroll County on Illinois Route 84 through Savanna, through Thomson to the southern border of Carroll County.
The route continues from the northern border of Whiteside County on Illinois Route 84 through Fulton, past East Clinton, & through Albany to the southern border of Whiteside County.
Rock Island County
The route continues from the northern border of Rock Island County on Illinois Route 84 through Cordova, through Port Byron, through Rapids City and into East Moline. The route turns off Highway 84 and onto Illinois Route 92 in East Moline. It continues through East Moline, through Moline, through Rock Island and through Andalusia. Approximately 7 miles past Andalusia, turn onto County Road 59. Follow to Illinois City, where it rejoins Illinois Route 92. Turn south on County Road 11 and follow to the southern border of Rock Island County.
The route continues from the northern border of Mercer County on the same road, now called County Road 14 to New Boston, where it turns east onto Illinois Route 17. Approximately 4 miles on Illinois Route 17, the route turns south onto County Road 25 and continues through Keithsburg to the southern border of Mercer County.
New Boston Exploration Route - At the intersection of County Road 14 and Illinois Route 17, continue west on Route 17 into New Boston.
The route continues from the northern border of Henderson County on the same road, now called County Road 3 to Illinois Route 164 where it turns west onto Route 164. The route follows Route 164 through Oquawka, and through Gladstone to the junction of Illinois Route 164 and U.S. Route 34. The route follows Route 34 west approximately 7 miles to Carman Road South to Lomax, where it turns west on Illinois Route 96. The route continues on Route 96 west through Dallas City to the southern border of Henderson County.
Gulf Port Exploration Route - Take U.S. Route 34 west into Gulf Port.
The route continues from the northern border of Hancock County on Illinois Route 96 through Dallas City, past Pontoosuc, through Niota, through Nauvoo, and through Hamilton. Once through Hamilton, take County Road 32 to Warsaw. Once in Warsaw, the route will continue west on Main Street, and out of town on County road 12 to the southern border of Hancock County.
The route continues from the northern border of Adams County on County Road 7. The route will remain on County Road 7 until it reaches County Road 1400. It follows County Road 1400 east to U.S. Route 24. The route follows Route 24 (Southbound �3rd. St., Northbound � 4th St.) through Quincy to Illinois Route 57. The route follows Route 57 south through Marblehead and Fall Creek to the southern border of Adams County.
Quincy Exploration Route - York Street between S. Third Street & S. Fourth Street; Vermont Street from N. Fourth Street to N. Front Street; N. Front Street from Vermont Street past Clat Adams Park to Hampshire Street; Hampshire Street from N. Front Street to N. Fourth Street.
Pike County has elected not to participate in the Great River Road in Illinois National Scenic Byway. The Great River Road is marked with the official Pilot's Wheel shield throughout Pike County so navigation through the county to pick up the rest of the National Scenic Byway is possible.
Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway
Madison County (to I-270)
The Great River Road is marked with the official Pilot's Wheel shield throughout these counties. The route here is officially recognized as the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. For more information of the Meeting of the Great Rivers byway please contact the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-258-6645 or visit www.visitalton.com
Madison County (from I-270)
The route picks up in Madison County at Illinois Route 111 Southbound, at the junction of I-270 and Illinois Route 111. It continues on Highway 111 for approximately 6 miles, where it will get onto I-70 westbound for approximately 4 miles to the southern border of Madison County.
Madison County Exploration Route - Route 3 south off of I-270 going through Granite City, Madison, Venice and Brooklyn, looping back onto the Great River Road at the junction of Route 3 and I-70.
St. Clair County
The route continues from the northern border of St. Clair County on I-70 westbound and travels to the junction with Illinois Route 3 Southbound. The route continues on Illinois Route 3 through Cahokia, through Dupo to the southern border of St. Clair County.
The route continues from the northern border of Monroe County on Illinois Route 3 through Columbia, through Waterloo to the southern border of Monroe County.
Columbia Old Route 3 Exploration Route - Through the town of Columbia on Old Route 3.
Maeystown Road Exploration Route - Turns off Illinois Route 3 onto Maeystown Road in Waterloo. Follow Maeystown Road to Maeystown and back.
The route continues from the northern border of Randolph County on Illinois Route 3 through Red Bud, through Ruma, past Evansville, past Ellis Grove, through Chester (on Water Street and Route 3), through Rockwood to the southern border of Randolph County. The towns of Ruma, Rockwood, and Evansville have elected to not participate in the Great River Road in Illinois National Scenic Byway.
Fort de Chartres Exploration Route - Turns northwest on Bluff Road at Ellis Grove and goes to Prairie du Rocher, where it turns onto Illinois Route 155 off of Bluff Road, traveling to Fort de Chartres and back.
The route continues from the northern border of Jackson County on Illinois Route 3 through Glenn, past the Route 149 intersection, past Grand Tower approximately 5 miles to the southern border of Jackson County.
The route continues from northern the border of Union County on Illinois Route 3 through Wolf Lake, past Ware, past Reynoldsville to the southern border of Union County.
Wolf Lake Exploration Route - In Wolf Lake, turn east onto State Forest Road and follow to Illinois Route 127, then turn north on Route 127 to State Pond Road. Then turn east onto State Pond Road and follow to Illinois Route 146. Turn west on Route 146 and follow back to Route 3.
The route continues from the northern border of Alexander County on Illinois Route 3 past McClure, through Gale, past Thebes, through Olive Branch to the intersection of Route 3 and Illinois Route 127. The route continues south on Route 3 through Cache, through Klondike to U.S. 51. On U.S. 51 the byway continues south through Cairo to U.S. 60/62. It then continues south on U.S. 60/62 to Fort Defiance State Park, where the Great River Road in Illinois National Scenic Byway ends.
Thebes Exploration Route - From Route 3 through Thebes on Riverview Street to Pecan Street and then to Fourth Street. Travel south on Fourth Street to Walnut Street. Then turn west on Walnut Street to Second Street and head north on Second Street to Poplar Street. Then turn east onto Poplar Street to Fifth Street and turn south on Fifth Street to Oak Street. Turn east on Oak Street to 8th Street. Travel north on 8th Street back to Poplar Street. Then turn west on Poplar Street and follow it back to Route 3.
Horseshoe Lake Exploration Route - In Olive Branch turn south off of Route 3 onto Miller City Road and follow it to Miller City. Then turn east onto Promise Land Road and follow it back to Route 3.
Cairo Exploration Route - Through Cairo you are on U.S. 51/Sycamore Street. Turn right (west) on 28th Street over to Park Place West and turn right (north) onto Park Place West. Travel north until 33rd Street and turn right (east) on 33rd Street. Take 33rd Street east to Washington Avenue. Turn right (south) on Washington Avenue to the corner of 20th and Sycamore Streets where you will re-enter onto the state routes. Drive south on Washington Avenue to 8th Street, turn left (east) onto 8th Street under Wrought Iron Arch. Proceed two blocks on 8th Street to Ohio River Levee Gap and turn right (south). Proceed along Ohio Riverfront to Fourth Street Gap and turn right (west). Proceed west on Fourth Street to Washington Avenue, where you will re-enter state routes.
The Great River Road in Illinois National Scenic Byway meets the Ohio River National Scenic Byway at Fort Defiance State Park where both byways end.