You Can Hike to This Abandoned Illinois Observatory, But Don’t
It's true that the University of Illinois has an abandoned observatory that you can hike to. Sounds interesting, right? I will give you a lot of reasons why you won't want to waste your time.
Quick backstory first: The observatory was used by the University of Illinois from 1969 until 1981. 12 years and done. The equipment inside was transferred to San Diego State University.
I like to view life as a glass half full, so before I trash this idea I will mention that the Abandoned Observatory Trail is highly rated on All Trails and for good reason. It's a 2.9-mile loop trail near Oakland, Illinois which is easy to do in under an hour. Now that I have the positives out of the way, here are the (many) words of caution.
#1 - You can't go into the abandoned observatory
#2 - Even if you could, you wouldn't want to
#3 - Repeat reasons 1 and 2 until you've convinced yourself not to do this
The reason why entrance isn't allowed into the old observatory is it's dangerous. Unstable floors and huge drops if you fall through are just the beginning. One urban explorer did manage to get in a couple years ago and the inside is...trashed. Don't watch this unless you'd like to see vulgar language and possibly even learn new bad words.
I was hesitant to even share this, but thought it might save someone a trip thinking they're gonna see what used to be a nifty scientific place. Nope. Outside does look pretty though...in an abandoned place kind of way.