Free Forest Memorial with tree purchase

Closeup of bark in Rock River

Choose a memorial tree to scatter ashes. Your loved ones will always be part of a forest.

Better Place Forests creates and maintains conservation memorial forests for people who choose cremation and don’t want their ashes to end up in a traditional cemetery.

Things to do and places to stay in Rock River

Our forest in Oregon, Illinois, is 60-acres of breathtaking scenery. Home to bald eagles, herons, and beavers, and featuring river views from the grove of oak, black walnut, and shagbark hickory trees, the forest is a wonderful place to commune with nature. 

This guide will help you find the best attractions, hotels, and restaurants near Better Place Forests Rock River.

What to eat near Rock River


Whether you need to grab a quick bite or want to unwind with a nice meal and drink at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of these restaurants located near our forest in Oregon, IL. 

  • Jay’s Drive-In: This classic 1950’s-style diner has been serving up burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and shakes in a family-friendly atmosphere for over 35 years. 
  • La Vigna: If you’re in the mood for a hearty homemade Northern Italian meal, check out this charming roadside restaurant. Try their delicious pasta or seafood dishes, and save room for one of their decadent desserts. 
  • Dos Amigos: This family-owned Mexican restaurant boasts an extensive menu including burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and “the best margaritas in town.” They are known for their large portions, so go with a big appetite.
  • Hairy Cow Brewing Company: Overlooks the Rock River in Byron, IL. Serving woodfired pizzas, beer, cocktails, and specialty coffees.
  • The Sweetbean Cafe: Cozy cafe serving specialty coffees, smoothies, baked goods soups, and sandwiches.
  • The Village Bakery: “Baking a difference” by providing meaningful work to adults with developmental disabilities in the community. Serving baked goods, soups, sandwiches and coffee.
  • The Norwegian: Scandinavian breakfast/brunch eats & cocktails in a warm, Nordic-chic space with wood ceilings.
  • Prairie Street Brewing Company: Cool historical building in the center of town with great views of the Rock River
  • Alfano’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant: Family-owned Italian restaurant and a hometown staple for the Oregon community.
  • Maxon’s Riverside Restaurant: The restaurant overlooks the Rock River with views of Blackhawk Statue. The Paddle Wheel Riverboat offers brunch, lunch, dinner or sightseeing cruises during a 15 mile round trip cruise on the Rock River.

Things to do near Rock River in Oregon, IL


Explore the Oregon, IL while you are in the area to visit our forest. If you’re wondering what’s around Oregon, IL, check out this list to find something fun to do or see. 

  • Visit the Black Hawk State Historic Site: This 208-acre park showcases the history of Black Hawk and the Sauk and Meskwaki people. Take a guided hike to learn about the local flora and fauna and then visit the 48-foot Black Hawk statue
  • Paddle Wheel Riverboat Cruise: See the views along the Rock River while cruising on The Pride of Oregon, a replica of the famous Rosie O’Shea paddlewheel boat. 
  • Water Sports: Explore the Rock River via kayak, canoe, innertube, or paddleboard. The river is gentle and easy to navigate, so visitors of all ages can join in the fun.
  • Castle Rock State Park: Plant lovers will love this 2,000-acre park — one valley has over 27 different types of ferns! Check out the unique rock formations and six miles of hiking trails. Other park amenities include tables, grills, drinking water, and playground equipment.

Where to stay near Rock River in Oregon, IL


Enjoy the quiet countryside at one of these lovely inns near Rock River. 

  • Lincoln Way: This eco-friendly inn has a mission of sustainability and preservation. Book one of their six suites and enjoy the peaceful setting, farm-to-table breakfasts, and luxurious features like the cedar sauna, water garden, and spa-like private bathrooms.
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront: In a grand building set in Downtown Rockford, this upmarket all-suite hotel with industrial-chic decor is a mile from the Burpee Museum of Natural History and 5 miles from Chicago Rockford International Airport.
  • Paddle Wheel Inn – Conveniently located in the town of Oregon, IL and less than 5 miles from the Rock River forest.  The Paddlewheel Inn is a family owned hotel offering clean and comfortable accommodations along the Rock River.
  • Patchwork Inn – The Patchwork Inn, circa 1845, holds the distinction of hosting Abraham Lincoln in the 1850’s. The inn offers 9 elegant guest rooms and a freshly homemade breakfast. It is conveniently ocated in the heart of Oregon’s Historic Commercial District and within easy walking distance of shopping and dining. 
  • White Pines Lodge – Nestled in a clearing within White Pines State Park and offering twenty-one authentic log cabins resembling a pioneer village.  All cabins at the Lodge come with gas fireplaces, tv, bed linens and towels….no roughing it at White Pines! Some cabins are ‘Pet Friendly’.

Choose a lasting legacy in Rock River


Making end-of-life plans early relieves your loved ones’ burden and empowers you to take control of the process. At Better Place Forests Rock River, your ashes will be spread in an idyllic protected forest, surrounded by gorgeous trees, a river view, and frolicking wildlife. It’s a beautiful legacy to leave where your family and friends will always be able to visit. 

Our stewards and customer care team get to know you and your wishes to help you select the perfect tree for your final resting place. Our goal is to give you an easy and stress-free end-of-life planning experience. For more information about our services or the Rock River forest, schedule a free online forest tour

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