As you approach the extreme northwest corner of Illinois the flat horizons disappear. Known as the driftless area, this is a place the glaciers missed. It's an area of valleys and bluffs, of scenic views and varying elevations and rolling hills.
In the middle of this beauty is The Galena Territory, a 6,800-acre planned residential, recreational and resort community. Earlier this month Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa hosted a morel hunt for media which took place in that community, and this is the final installment in my four-part series about the hunt, the resort, and the territory within which it resides.
The Galena Territory is a blend of permanent residences and vacation homes, with properties ranging from condominiums to single-family estates. There's an emphasis on the natural beauty that makes this such a desirable place, and no two lots are identical. Each one borders undeveloped greenspace on at least one side, which is easy to do considering one third of the Territory is natural habitat.
There are several amenities for property owners. The Owner's Club Complex has both indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center and a gymnasium. There are also a couple of pickleball courts, which are quite popular with the residents.
Other amenities include 25 miles of trails for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding, and residents receive special rates at the Shenandoah Riding Center. There's also a marina and members and their guests can rent a boat if they don't have one of their own.
The Marina provides access to the private 225-acre man-made Lake Galena. It's known for providing some of the best fishing in the region. The reason for this is that when the river was dammed to create the lake, the flooding happened a little faster than they anticipated, leaving farms and bridges at the bottom. These create a perfect home for smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill, channel catfish, perch, and tiger muskie. There are only two ways to get access to this bounty: stay at Eagle Ridge, or own property in the Territory (or know somebody who does!).
Because the lake is private and the Association places such a premium on preserving the natural beauty, the banks are lined with woods. The water is calm, with the exception of one of the most scenic places in the Territory. Thunder Bay Falls, created by the spillway, is a 40-foot waterfall located at one end of the lake.
If you're interested in learning more about The Galena Territory, contact The Galena Territory Association. They'll be able to answer any questions and help you find your new vacation getaway, second home, or new residence.
Into The Woods at Eagle Ridge
- Part I: Hunting the Mighty Morel
- Part II: A Resort with High Morel Standards
- Part III: R, R, & R at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
- Part IV: The Galena Territory