Kickapoo State Recreation Area
Open: Open all year
Number of Sites: 184
Where in Illinois can you go running or hiking, canoeing, fishing for trout, camping, hunting or scuba diving -- all against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty? Kickapoo State Recreation Area near Danville in Vermilion County, that's where. The site is easily reached via Interstate 74.
Fishing, Boating and Canoeing
With 22 lakes and access to the Middle Fork River, Kickapoo is known for the opportunities it provides for water-based outdoor activities. Anglers find excellent fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and redear sunfish. Especially popular are the annual fall and spring stockings of rainbow trout, which provide an unusual opportunity for central Illinois anglers to fish for catchable-size trout.
There are 12 launching ramps on nine of Kickapoo's lakes. Boat and canoe rental is available for Clear Pond. Electric motors only are allowed on the park's lakes.
For people wanting to canoe the scenic Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, a canoe rental and shuttle service is available.
The new concession is called Kickapoo Landing. It offers canoes, kayaks, tubes, bait, ice, firewood and a restaurant. The phone number is 217/446-8399 and they are open from 7 am to 8 pm Sunday through Thursday, 7 am to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday.
The horse concession is called Thunder Wolf Trail Rides. Their phone number is 217/477-4400.
Kickapoo is unique in that it is one of only a few state parks and recreation areas in Illinois allowing scuba diving. Divers who register and who show proper certification may dive in the clear, deep waters of Inland Sea and Sportsman's Lake.
Hiking and Running
If you're into physical fitness, the 7.6-mile Out & Back running and hiking trail offers you a chance to exercise while enjoying awe-inspiring natural scenery. The course is rated "difficult" and is designed to meet the demands of experienced outdoor hikers or runners, passing through forests, bottomlands and the edge areas of abandoned croplands.
If you want a less demanding walk, there are a number of shorter and easier hiking trails in the park, that are well marked.
You bring the hot dogs and the burgers, and Kickapoo has everything else you need for a summertime picnic. Six main picnic areas are available with shelters, tables, outdoor stoves, drinking water and playground equipment. A concession stand, 217-354-2060,offers refreshments and souvenirs on summer weekends, and rents canoes and rowboats daily except Wednesday. Picnic shelters maybe reserved upon request by calling the site.
For campers, Kickapoo has two major campgrounds for tent and trailer camping, with 184 sites. About half the sites have electrical hookups, 2 shower buildings are available to all campers and a sanitary dump station is available. Campers occupying electrical sites are required to pay for the availability of electricity even if the service is not used. A limited number of walk-in sites are available for primitive campers. The shower buildings are closed by November 1st (may be earlier if bad weather) and reopen May 1st (may be earlier - weather depending).
Campsites are no longer reservable. The maximum length of stay is 15 days in a 30-day period. Group camping is permitted.
Campers must have camping equipment with them when they register to camp. All campers must obtain a camping permit before entering the campgrounds.
More than 1,000 acres -- including forests, grasslands, edge and cropland -- are available for the use of hunters each fall. Kickapoo hunters may harvest white-tailed deer (both firearm and archery), squirrel, dove, woodcock, quail, cock pheasant, rabbit, raccoon and opossum.
Special regulations and restrictions apply and all hunters must register before hunting the area.
If you are into a challenging ride, try the 12 miles of the best single track trails in Illinois. The trails are rated easy to very technical. Enjoy the wooded hills and ravines of the park as you ride the best mountain bike trails in central Illinois.
When winter blankets the central Illinois landscape with ice and snow, cross-country skiing, sledding, ice fishing and ice skating become popular activities at Kickapoo.
Because some fall-stocked trout usually survive over the winter, those fishing through the ice can creel a rainbow in addition to the species normally found at Kickapoo. Winter also is an excellent time of the year for photographers and wildlife observers to visit the park.
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