In order to comply with the University of Illinois and State of Illinois recommendations for social distancing, Allerton Park and Retreat Center will be CLOSED to the public until further notice. This includes all gardens, trails, roads, and facilities.
It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to limit the spread of this virus, which unfortunately includes restricting the public from gathering here. Thank you for your understanding as we attempt to keep our community and employees safe.
Yes! We are open daily 8am to sunset (closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day).
The Visitor Center is open daily 9am to 5pm, and is an unstaffed, self-guided resource with maps, displays, and restrooms. The Greenhouse Café has peak and non-peak hours. Find current hours and view the menu here.
There is no admission fee, but donations are encouraged to help keep Allerton the free public resource it has been since 1946. No matter the amount, donations are greatly appreciated and make a difference in helping to maintain and improve the Park! Donations can be made at any of our outdoor kiosks, in the Visitor Center donation box, or online.
Yes! The Greenhouse Café offers a selection of merchandise, from shirts to ceramic Fu Dogs, for sale. The Mansion’s Front Desk also offers a variety of Allerton-inspired items available for purchase.
Yes! Find details on arranging a private tour, and upcoming public tour dates here.
Because we host private events in the Mansion, it cannot always be open to the public. However, you can see the entire Mansion and hear the history of the estate by taking a guided tour. Find information on tours here.
Unless otherwise noted, please check in at the Mansion’s Front Desk.
Camping, collecting (firewood, plants, flowers, mushrooms, etc.), fireworks, fishing, hunting, swimming, open fires, alcohol, and weapons are all prohibited without consent. Please remember that Allerton is a smoke-free area.
Yes, but please keep them leashed and clean up after them. Four legged friends are also welcome in the Evergreen Lodge!
There are several excellent resources available for history buffs. The book Robert Allerton: The Private Man & The Public Gifts is available for sale at the Mansion’s Front Desk as well as the Greenhouse Café. If you prefer hearing the information in person, find more information about guided tours here. You can also find more information on our website here.
Prescribed fire is used as a tool to manage our forests in the Fall and Spring. If you come across a fire in the Allerton Natural Areas it is likely part of our management plan. Signs are posted at trail heads and along major roads alerting guests of smoke and fire. Local dispatch is made aware of our fires.
Yes! Allerton began managing deer through hunting in 2004. Archery hunting is allowed in the park October 1st – January 15th. Approximately 30 hunters participate in the program, and each hunter is required to follow a very strict set of Allerton-specific regulations to ensure the safety of our hunters and Park visitors. Each hunter is also required to contribute 30 hours of volunteer service per hunting season in order to participate. Visitors are perfectly safe hiking the Allerton trails during deer season.
No, please stay on the trails. The Allerton Natural Areas are used by 25-30 different University researchers every year. Our Natural Areas are full of research plots and transects that cannot be disturbed. Find out more about specific projects here.
“Take only photos, leave only footprints!” Please do not collect anything (firewood, plants, flowers, mushrooms, etc.) at Allerton.
We think so… the eastern massasauga rattlesnake was last seen at Allerton in 2012. Allerton is one of three locations in the state of Illinois with recent records of this federally protected snake species. The snakes are extremely difficult to find and your chance of encountering one in the park is very slim. (And, no, Mr. Allerton did not introduce the rattlesnakes to the area to protect his property!)
Wildflowers begin blooming in mid-March and peak in early May (especially bluebells in April/May). Spectacular formal garden displays include the Peony Garden in May and the lilies and annuals in summer. Hardy chrysanthemums and striking fall colors peak in October. Winter at Allerton should not be overlooked; the quiet stillness of the snow-covered landscape is breathtaking.
Visitors can take Old Levee Road over the Sangamon River, turn left on Allerton Road, then take Allerton Road all the way into Monticello. Learn more about area attractions here.
Evergreen Lodge – brick building located south of the Main Parking Lot
Gate House – brick building located just off Old Timber Road near Rathje Drive, east of the Brick Wall Garden
House in the Woods – gray stucco building located west of the 4-H Camp on Old Timber Road
All of these buildings are used as overflow rooms for individual stays, weddings, retreats, and conferences. These buildings are not open to the public for touring.