The Oregon Trail

If you have the time, Hwy-2 follows a lovely route from Rockford along the Rock River southwest to the quaint old town of Dixon, where the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home (816 S. Hennepin Ave., 815/288-5176, $5) preserves the house where in the early 1920s the late “Great Communicator” (1911-2004) spent his preteen years. Midway between Rockford and Dixon, in Lowden State Park, a rather majestic Eternal Indian statue inspired by the great chief Black Hawk stands high above the river outside the town of Oregon.