Watching the sun go down is a great way to end your day with natural beauty. These spots offer some of the best views!



J. Norman Jensen Forest Preserve

Jensen is a perfectly situated place to see the sunset along the curves of the great Rock River. Take a stroll on the one mile loop path that starts and finishes in the prairie which allows for an undisturbed view of the sky. Reminder that Winnebago County Forest Preserves close a half hour after sunset.

  • Address: 14400 S. Bluff, Rockton, IL 61072
  • Parking: Entrance is next to the preserve sign, drive through the gates to reach a parking loop

Photo by Jessie Crow-Mermel


Harlem Hills Nature Preserve

This preserve is small, but the massive rolling hills create a remote feeling. The open space allows for a panoramic view of the sun setting over the Rock River Valley below. Be sure to have your ankles and legs covered, as there are no groomed trails here.

  • Address: 4979 Flora Drive, Loves Park, IL 61111
  • Parking: There is a small grass parking area where Flora Drive meets Thompson Drive. Enter the preserve by passing through an opening in the fence to the left of the preserve sign.

Photo by Julie Uram



Rock River Recreation Path

If you have ever driven south on N. 2nd Street at the end of a sunny day, you have probably had your breath taken away by the sun setting over Rockford’s downtown skyline. We recommend pulling off at Shorewood Park in Loves Park or Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford and taking in the view along the paved path.

  • Shorewood Park Address and Parking: 235 Evelyn Ave, Loves Park, IL 61111. There is a paved parking area within the park and street parking on Evelyn Ave.
  • Nicholas Conservatory Address and Parking: 1354 N 2nd St, Rockford, IL 61107. Parking lots include handicap spaces and charging stations for electronic vehicles. If the lots are full, find parking at the SwedishAmerican Riverfront YMCA.

Photo from Flicker


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