IDNR Opens Some State Parks for Limited Use

Starting May 1, some of the state parks operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will reopen.

IDNR, working with the Governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health, gave
careful consideration to a number of factors in determining which sites could be reopened responsibly while protecting the health and safety of our site visitors, staff and first responders.

The criteria examined in determining which sites to open first included:

  • Selecting appropriate sites in each geographic location/region of the state;
  • Determining which sites in each region offer a wide variety of passive, low-risk recreational
    amenities that can accommodate important social distancing guidelines, including sites with
    expansive boat access areas, access to fishing (by boat and on bank), hiking, wildlife watching,
    bike riding, mushroom collecting, and equestrian trail use;
  • Selecting sites where it is possible to segment open and closed activity areas – allowing activities
    like those listed above while closing campgrounds, playgrounds and beaches;
  • Selecting sites which have significant acreage, more easily allowing visitors to spread out and
    easily maintain required social distancing;
  • Selecting sites which include flush toilet buildings and sinks with running water available for
    public hand washing and restroom use; and
  • Selecting sites which have adequate IDNR staffing levels at this time

Parks will be open from sun-up to sundown. Guests will be allowed to engage in activities such as wildlife observation, hiking, biking, equestrian use and fishing (both from the bank and boats with a limit of two persons per boat regardless of the relationship of the people in the boat) and mushroom hunting.

All visitor centers, campgrounds, playgrounds, shelter reservations, interpretive educational programs, beaches, special events and concessions will remain closed; turkey hunting will remain suspended at state parks.

Below is a list of soon to be opened parks by region. 

Northeastern Illinois: Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park / North Point Marina, Chain O’ Lakes State Park, Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail (includes Buffalo Rock, Channahon, Gebhard Woods, and William G Stratton), Kankakee River State Park, Moraine Hills State Park

Northwestern Illinois: Argyle Lake State Park, Jubilee College State Park, Lowden State Park, Morrison-Rockwood State Park, Rock Island Trail State Park, Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area

East Central Illinois: Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, Eagle Creek State Park, Kickapoo State Park, Wolf Creek State Park

West Central Illinois: Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, Sangchris Lake State Park, Siloam Springs State Park, Washington County State Recreation Area

Southern Illinois: Fort Massac State Park, Giant City State Park, Stephen A Forbes State Recreation Area, Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area

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