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The Best of the Best in Galena

Head to Thunder Bay Falls this Spring

There’s a hidden gem in Galena that’s a perfect addition to any getaway to our charming town: Thunder Bay Falls. While there are a lot of waterfalls in Illinois worth a hike in or a long drive, this one just requires parking your car, and you’re there. Thunder Bay Falls is cascading runoff from the picturesque Lake Galena, so you’ll see the stunning flowing water all year round.

As a guest at our Galena Bed and Breakfast, you’ll be just a quick ten-minute drive from Lake Galena and the falls. For those on the hunt for waterfalls in Illinois, we always suggest starting here and then continuing on to Apple Canyon Lake State Park. Where you’ll find the majestic Apple Canyon Waterfall, as well as limestone bluffs, streams, and lush woods, perfect for a leisurely hike.

While you’re in the area exploring these waterfalls and enjoying all the other things to do in Galena, give yourself plenty of time to unwind and enjoy the experience at Jail Hill Inn, the premier bed and breakfast in Galena. Our historic Inn has been meticulously renovated from an 1878 county jail into five-star luxury accommodations, landing us coveted #1 spot for Bed and Breakfats in the nation. Book one of our six spacious guest suites and come to find out for yourself how lovely it is to stay with us. 

A couple enjoying the waterfalls in Illinois, including Thunder Bay Falls in Galena

An Afternoon at Thunder Bay Falls

There’s just something so romantic about the wildness of waterfalls in Illinois, the lush greenery and the faint mist drifting in the air, it’s something you want to do with a special person by your side. While we only have a couple of waterfalls close to our Galena Bed and Breakfast, both examples are stunning and can be easily visited in one day.

The trail to Thunder Bay Falls is only ten minutes from downtown Galena and is short and sweet. It’s easily accessible with a well-maintained gravel path, ideal for a quick trip or a few photographs – or maybe even a romantic picnic lunch. Thunder Bay Falls is formed from a spillway off Lake Galena.

Though the land that Lake Galena and Thunder Bay Falls are on is private, the access road to the falls is public. Unlike other waterfalls in Illinios, Thunder Bay Falls is also a year-round attraction, as it only depends on the water levels in Lake Galena.

More Waterfalls in Illinois to Explore Near Galena

Thunder Bay Falls is perfect if you’re just looking for a quick stop, but if you want to explore more waterfalls in Illinois, there are a couple worth considering in the area. 

One of our favorite places to enjoy the wilderness of the Driftless region of Illinois is Apple River Canyon State Park. This lush green space is just under 300 acres and has five trails for hiking and exploring. The crowning jewel is the Apple Canyon Lake waterfall, one of the most stunning waterfalls in Illinois. Thankfully, the falls are easily reached and worth a visit.

Heading on back to Chicago?Head to the Jon J. Duerr Preserve for the Blackhawk Waterfall. You’ll find these quiet eight-foot falls on the Fox River at this peaceful forest preserve, which lies just about an hour outside of the Chicago city limits. It’s the perfect place to stretch your legs or stop for a picnic either on your road trip from Chicago to Galena (or back!).

After you visit Thunder Bay falls, return to this cozy guest room at our Galena Bed and Breakfast

The Best Lodging in Galena Near the Falls

From the minute you arrive in front of The Jail Hill Inn and take in its beautiful facade, you’ll know you’re in for a treat. These accommodations are anything but ordinary, and it’s all just part of what makes us one of the best places to stay in Galena for your next getaway. Come for the quiet, romantic ambiance, and you’ll end up getting so much more: gracious service, delicious homemade meals, and luxury accommodations.

Not only are we close to outings like Thunder Bay Falls and other waterfalls in the state, but we’re also conveniently located near downtown Galena, offering guests easy access to the best shopping experiences, restaurants, wineries, attractions, and more. We have so many return guests, so more often than not, your first visit isn’t your last. Start planning your next adventure to the Midwest and book your stay today!

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Give The Gift of Jail Hill Inn This Christmas

Give your loved one a very special gift of a stay at Jail Hill Inn .  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.