Having an area of 4,000 acres (1,619 ha) Kankakee River State Park is situated in Kankakee and Will Counties, Illinois, United States. The islands of Langham, Willow, Hoffman and Smith are all located inside the park on the Kankakee River. This State Park offers you its proud heritage in an unspoiled setting, here anglers, canoeists, hunters, campers, hikers, bicyclers and other outdoor enthusiasts find the park's recreational opportunities unsurpassed. The Kankakee River encompasses 3 dams and twelve larger tributary streams, including the Iroquois River. The upper river running through the Momence wetlands is low gradient, a high quality floodplain forest. The gradient increases downstream of the Kankakee, flowing over bedrock and cobble through the Kankakee River State Park and past Wilmington.
Fishing: The Kankakee River is a very high quality system, supporting a high diversity of fishes and mussels. It is well known as an excellent sport fishery for smallmouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, rock bass, and northern pike.
The best days of fishing occurs in early spring and fall. Spinners, crank baits, jigs and similar artificial are good on the spunky fish, but minnows, worms, frogs and crayfish also can produce.
Horseback Riding: horseback riding at the park is also available having a 12-mile (19 km) equestrian trail is located in the wildlife management area along Route 113.
Camping: Class A setup has 110 sites and two Rent-a-Cabins in a wooded setting known to be Potawatomi Campground. More than 150 sites are vacant at Chippewa Campground, having electric and facilities of Class B. For Kankakee River reservations are taken from Class A, B, and C campgrounds. No vehicular traffic is allowed during this time. You must be 18 years old to rent a campsite and you must be able to establish your camp at the time you obtain a permit. All campsites share a picnic table and a camp grill. Camping is only allowed in the campgrounds.
Hiking: Trails on the north side of the river are designated for hiking and biking, while those to the south are horses and snowmobiles. For hikers the best of the lot may be the 3-mile loop trail along Rock Creek, which features some great views of the limestone canyons in the area and a waterfall. You might have a chance to cross one of the tallest suspension bridges in Illinois designed for foot traffic. View of Rock Creek from about 75 feet up is also a sight-seeing.
The river trail kicks off right in the Davis Creek area of the preserve and travels adjacent to the Kankakee River for 10.5 miles to the west side of the park. You will find plenty of shade along the mostly tree-covered banks of the river. The 12-mile equestrian trail on the south side is used for snowmobiling in the winter, but when there’s no snow it makes for a good winter running challenge.
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