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  • Coal site transformed into ATV and dirt bike paradise

    Coal mining was once a ­thriving ­business in western Illinois’ Henry County. At its peak, up to 100 railroad cars of coal left Midland Coal Company’s Atkinson ­processing plant daily. But in 1964 the last coal mine shut down ending coal mining in the county.

    Today, the landscape left in ­mining’s wake has been restored ­creating some of the best ATV and dirt bike riding ground in the Midwest. Atkinson Motorsports Park (Gob Hill) has more than 100 acres of timber full of trails, mud bogs and climbs. Ride to the top of the Gob amid 116 acres with lakes, hills, and valleys and enjoy the most open and unrestricted ­riding in Illinois.

    There is a stadium-style super-cross track, a motocross track and a kids-only riding area. For more conser­vative riders, the perimeter road is more than four miles long with ­beautiful vistas.

    Only four-wheel ATV’s and dirt bikes are allowed and all ­riders must wear Illinois Department of Transportation approved helmets, goggles, gloves, long sleeve shirts, pants and over-the-ankle boots, and all machines must have a valid Department of Natural Resources sticker affixed.

    Gob Hill has a campground with 75 tent sites and 28 motor home ites with electric, water and some with sewer. For more info, go to www.gobhill.com, phone 309-936-1200 or 309-936-7878 or email vicky@shabonnacreekrv.com

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