Soaring through the sky high above the ground is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping. You’ll surely be in awe as you take in the beauty of the Mississippi River valley. Good thing Galena, IL is in the ideal location to give visitors a breathtaking` experience with options that fit every type of budget. With beautiful views of the Mississippi River, the forests and nature features, and three states – Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin – this is the perfect area for everyone to explore from a bird’s eye view.
BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTIONS
Galena has options to experience the beauty from above without breaking your bank. With options that are less than $20 per person, you can still get the breathtaking views of the Mississippi River Valley and panoramic views of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
If you’re looking for a way to get some of these beautiful views for free, head to Galena’s Horseshoe Mound Preserve. Deemed one of the most scenic properties in all northern Illinois, Horseshoe Mound has 40 acres of scenic outlooks, viewing scopes, hiking trails, and gathering areas throughout. Pack a lunch, have a picnic, and experience the panoramic views of Galena and the three bordering states from atop this piece of preserved land.
If you’re looking for more than a hike to experience Galena from above, then Chestnut Mountain’s Soaring Eagle Zipline is just for you. At $15 a person, you get to fly down an 800-foot zipline that sits about 600 ft above the Mississippi River. You can ride as a single strapped-in passenger, or you can pair up and ride with a partner. The total weight limit for the harness is 450 pounds and every rider must be taller than 48 inches. The Soaring Eagle will give you unbeatable views of the Upper Mississippi River Valley and the entire mountain. Experience this majestic view any weekend from July 1 – October 27 as well as September 2 and October 14 any time between 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
If you have a stash of cash that you use to get out and have fun on your days off, these next two experiences will help you indulge in the treetops of Galena. For less than $100 a person, you can head out on two different self-propelled ziplining excursions within the Jo Daviess County limits.
If you’re interested in seeing history while you experience zipping through the tree line, head to Sky Tours at YMCA Union Park in Dubuque, IA. With 9 ziplines on the course, you get to experience the land and see the amazing views that are offered from the Iowa side of the Mississippi River. This zipline course is a 2-hour guided excursion that will reach heights of 75 feet in the air with zipline lengths between 300 and 1,000 feet. Hiking before and between the ziplines should be expected so remember to lace up your hiking shoes and tie your long hair back. Weekend rates are $72 or $67 with a YMCA membership and weekday rates are $65 and $60 with a membership. Reservations are required, but they have various options available to accommodate your schedule.
Long Hollow Canopy Tours in Elizabeth, IL is the perfect place to head to if you are an adrenaline junkie looking for more thrilling and breathtaking views. Located near Galena Territory and surrounded by Tapley Woods, this 2.5-hour course features 6 ziplines from 190 feet to 1250 feet at a height of 75 feet. In between the ziplines, you will be able to rappel off 40-foot platform, cross a sky bridge, and get a UTV ride. The course is checked daily and each staff member underwent extensive training to keep participants safe on all the features. This excursion costs $89 per person and they offer a group rate of $4 off with 6 or more people. You must be 10 years old or older and weigh between 70 and 250 pounds.
HIGH COST, HIGH REWARD
The view from above Galena is one-of-a-kind and breathtaking. If you’re interested in flying high above the grounds below and getting an uninterrupted 360-degree view, you’ll have to pay a little more. However, don’t let that stop you – the experience and beauty will seem like a steal for the price.
For those looking to be carried by the wind right above Galena and the surrounding area, Galena on the Fly is the perfect experience for you. Hop into a hot balloon and glide across Jo Daviess County to truly experience what it feels like to be a bird above us. You will spend about 2 hours in the air and will land 5-10 miles away from your launch site. After you land, you’ll return for a champagne celebration with the whole group. The experienced pilot will be there when you skirt the tops of trees, soar up to 3,000 feet, and skim the gondolas at Lake Galena. Flights take place 7 days a week from May to October with weekdays offering sunset flights and weekends offering both sunrise and sunset flights. Reservations are required, the cost is $200 per person and the hot air balloon can hold up to 14 people. You also can book a private flight for $2,800 total.