^Northbound trailblazer in Cuba, Illinois, at Illinois 95, March 2021.
Illinois Route 97 runs from the Galesburg area to Springfield, along a trajectory that mostly runs south but has a bit of a southeasterly tilt. The county seats of Fulton, Mason, Menard, and Sangamon Counties are strung together by Illinois Route 97.
Illinois 97 begins at Interstate 74's exit 54, by Knoxville, Illinois, and follows US Route 150 south for a thousand feet or so:
Then, US Route 150 turns westerly toward Galesburg, while Illinois 97 sets out on its own, heading southerly:
About 4 miles east of Lewistown, Illinois 97 splits from US Route 24 to go south, as Illinois 78 comes from the east on US Route 24 to turn southerly as well; this is the second T-junction in the row where three distinct duplexes come together:
Immediately after crossing the Illinois River, Illinois 78 splits from Illinois 97 and US Route 136 in Havana to continue south:
Illinois 97 soon splits from US Route 136, less than a mile farther into Havana:
At Petersburg, Illinois 123 comes from the east and joins Illinois 97 south:
After passing through Athens (pronounced wrong, with a long "A"), Illinois 97 and Illinois 123 part ways:
Illinois 97 reaches a T-intersection and turns easterly into Springfield, as the western leg of the intersection is the eastern end of Illinois 125:
Illinois 97 crosses Illinois 4 as it enters Springfield:
Then, Illinois 97 becomes the main east-west state highway through Springfield, despite its overall nature as a north-south route. Illinois 97 becomes a pair of one-way streets, but oddly, the westbound street is SOUTH of the eastbound street, meaning the eastbound and westbound lanes have to cross over each other via overpass. As Illinois 97 takes the form of these mismatched one-way streets, it encounters Business Loop 55...
Illinois 29, which once duplexed with Illinois 97 through downtown Springfield, now crosses Illinois 97 on the east side of town: