Parks & Recreation

Parks and Recreation


Dixon has more parks per capita than any other town in Illinois. Many of our parks are located along the scenic Rock River including the Dixon Park District's magnificent 240-acre Lowell Park where President Ronald Reagan worked summers as a lifeguard in his youth. The Dixon Park District owns and maintains many other park and recreational facilities throughout the community and operates year 'round recreational and educational programs. The district also operates an extensive nature center.  Visit the Dixon Park District website at

The immediate area is home to seven State Parks and natural areas as well. White Pines Forest State Park, Morrison Rockwood State Park, Lowden State Park, Castle Rock State Park, Franklin Creek State Natural Area and Equestrian Park, Green River State Wildlife Area and, Nachusa Grasslands are all within a short drive.


Recreation is important to area residents. We work hard and we like to play hard as well. There are many opportunities to do this including golf courses; bike trails; fishing; racquetball; volleyball; weight training; basketball; or just take a quiet walk in the woods.

The Dixon Family YMCA established in 1872 is second to none. The "Y" serves over 4,000 individuals and includes complete weight and fitness rooms overlooking Galena Avenue, indoor pool and gym, classes and programming for all ages.

The Dixon Petunia Festival is one of the State of Illinois' oldest (48 years) and largest community festivals running over the week of the Fourth of July each year. Petunia Fest annually draws people from throughout the Midwest for parades, carnival, entertainment, festival garden and loads of family fun. (  Numerous other community festivals are popular diversions throughout the year and nearly every local community has at least one.

Rock River Water Trail

Dixon is located on the Rock River Water Trail, a delineated path on the Rock River that connects access sites, resting places and attractions for users of water craft over 300 miles from the river’s headwaters in Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties, Wisconsin to the Mississippi River at the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa.   The trail enhances public use of the river for recreation with wayfinding and amenities such as restrooms, shelter, parking and camping.  In March 2012 the US Department of the Interior, to achieve some of the goals of America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, established the National Water Trails System. The Water Trails System is a new network intended to increase access to water-based outdoor recreation, encourage community stewardship of local waterways and promote tourism that support local economies.  For trail information and river maps, visit