Heritage Canyon

Heritage Canyon is a 12-acre wooded structure nature walk dotted with buildings that take the visitor back to the 1800's. 

  • Mid-1800's - 1954: It was a limestone quarry where rock was crushed for field fertilizer, road beds, wing dams and levees. Trucks, trains and river barges hauled it away.
  • 1954 - 1967: The quarry was abandoned in 1954 because dynamiting was damaging both sides of the river. The area became an eyesore to the community with its junk and dilapidated shacks.
  • 1967 - 1999: In 1967, Harold and Thelma Wierenga bought the quarry. They converted the machine shop into a usable workshop and then built their home on the site of the old rock crusher. They changed the quarry, keeping two goals in mind: preserve Midwestern history, emphasizing detail and authenticity; and disturb nature as little as possible as each building is added. 
  • 1999 - Present:  After the passing of Harold Wierenga in January 1999, his daughter and son-in-law maintained the Canyon for several years.  However, the volunteer task of maintaining the Canyon was simply too much for the couple.  In October 2005, the City of Fulton was given ownership of Heritage Canyon.  In October 2007, Thelma Wierenga passed away.  A memorial for Harold and Thelma is on display near the entrance into the Canyon. 

Self-guided walking tours marked by numbered yellow arrows on brick paths will guide you through a pleasant experience.

Donations only, except on specials days when a $2.00 admission for adults and children over 14 is requested. Under 14, $1.00 per child.  All donations are used for improvement of this park.

The church in the Canyon is available for small weddings.  The church seats up to 25 people.  Cost to rent the church is $185 (includes a $50 refundable deposit). Please call the caretaker for details and availability - 815-589-4600.  

Special Events at Heritage Canyon:

Dutch Days                   May 5 & 6, 2017    10am - 4pm *

Venus Music Festival    May 20, 2017        1pm - 6pm

Bluegrass Festival        June 17, 2017        1pm - 6pm

Zombie Crawl                September 16, 2017         3pm - ?*

Fall Festival                  September 30 & October 1, 2017  10am - 4pm*

Beggar's Night             October 21, 2017     2pm - 4pm*

Christmas Walk            Saturday, December 2, 2017   12pm - 7pm*

* At these events, the Early American Crafters, the Civil War reenactors, and other historical groups take us back in time as they recreate history in the mid-1800's.  During special events there is a charge of $2/adult and $1/child.   For more details about the events at Heritage Canyon, please visit the "Events" page and scroll by date: http://www.cityoffulton.us/fulton-events.html    Like Us! on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/WierengasHeritageCanyon/

Click on any picture below for a slideshow.

Heritage Canyon 360 View - 1
Heritage Canyon 360 View - 2


  • School House - Brinkman Building Center
  • Dr.'s Office - Frances Rus & Family
  • Iron Works - Arlyn & Claire Rus
  • Log Cabin Settlement - Kummerer Family
  • Blacksmith Shop - Barak's Truck Repair
  • Canyon Church - Jon & Vickie Lockhart


Heritage Canyon Virtual Tour part 1 of 2
Heritage Canyon Virtual Tour part 2 of 2


  • Address: 515 North 4th Street
  • City, State Zip: Fulton, IL 61252
  • Phone: (815) 589-4600
  • Season Open: April 15 - weather permitting
  • Season Close: Dec. 15 - weather permitting
  • Hours:

    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Tours?: Self Guided
  • Coach/Bus Parking?: Yes