Illinois park of the month: Kankakee River State Park

Located in Bourbonnais, Kankakee River State Park has a rich history that includes being inhabited by Native Americans, traders and farmers.

Recreational opportunities are available throughout the year.

A main attraction at Kankakee River State Park is the Kankakee River. Enveloping both sides of the Kankakee River, the park has 4,000 acres.

You can catch smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye and northern pike in the Kankakee River. Canoeists can enjoy a relaxing trip down the river.

Seasonal hunting is available, too. Bow hunting is allowed for deer. Firearm hunting is permitted for duck, pheasant, turkey, dove, rabbit, squirrel, fox, coyote and raccoon.

The park has a nice trail system that goes for miles along both sides of the Kankakee River. Hiking, biking and equestrian trails are popular attractions for outdoor enthusiasts. A scenic 3-mile route along Rock Creek lets hikers view limestone canyons and a bubbly waterfall.

When winter arrives and there’s at least 4 inches of snow on the ground, Kankakee River State Park is open from sunrise to sunset for snowmobiling. People looking to get some exercise can go cross country skiing.

Other popular activities include camping and picnicking. Shelters and tables are available for lunch or a family reunion. Kids can have fun at playgrounds in several locations in the park.

If you’re at Kankakee River State Park, you can check out more about the region’s history, resources and recreational opportunities at the park’s office/visitor center.