National Scenic River
Illinois Nature Preserves
Vermilion Co. Conservation
FOREST GLEN PRESERVE
- HIKING - 25 miles of trails, plus the 11 mile back pack trail and the asphalt
handicapped trail (1/3 mile).
Back Pack Trail Information and Rules
Required Registration Form
- Modern Campgrounds - 50 amp electrical service; shower building, dump
stations, water available, camp store, campground host. Includes 42 sites (34
- Tent Campground - 16 sites - completely wooded -
walk-in only; picnic table and fire ring provided; water available;
use of shower building in modern campgrounds (walking distance);
- Group Campground - 6 primitive sites( no water available, pit toilets);
organized groups only; no recreational vehicles (motor homes or trailers);
pre-registration required; fee dependent on number of persons.
- East Camp - 3 sites located at the 7.5 mile mark of the River Ridge
Back Pack Trail; pit toilet and fire rings; advanced reservation required; free.
- PICNICKING - Several wooded picnic areas have easy access by vehicle; tables and
grills (some have fire pits); also "click" General Information for rental buildings.
- FISHING - Includes:
- Vermilion River
- Willow Creek Pond ( 7 acres )
- Edgewood Pond (1 acre )
- Entrance Pond ( 1 acre )
- Highland Pond (1 acre )
All Illinois State
fishing regulations apply
- BOATING/CANOEING - Includes:
- Vermilion River (Canoe)
- Willow Creek Pond (electric motors only)
- WILDLIFE VIEWING - Registered as an Illinois Wildlife Viewing Area; a favorite
for bird watchers; deer and turkey are common; also beaver, coyote, pileated woodpecker,
fox and geese.
- MUSHROOM HUNTING - A favorite area for the morel mushroom hunters in the spring,
and also fall mushrooms. Berry picking is allowed in the park. Collecting of plants
or ginseng is not allowed.
- OBSERVATION TOWER - A 72 foot tower gives a spectacular view of the Vermilion
Leaf Collecting Hike
Forest Glen Family Campgrounds
Monthly hayrides at Forest Glen
Monthly hikes at Forest Glen
KENNEKUK COUNTY PARK
- HIKING - 10 miles of trails, plus the 7.5 mile Lake Mingo Trail
- PICNICKING - Several large picnic areas that cater to company picnics or large
groups; tables, grills, fire rings, horseshoes and playground equipment. Also
"click" General Information
for rental buildings.
- FISHING - Includes:
- Lake Mingo - 170 acres-
Fee Required, weekly Tuesday night
- Twin Points Lake - 10 acres
- Horseshoe Pond - 2 acres;
Catch & Release only
- Nature Center Pond - 1 acre
- Knapp Pond - 10 acres, limited access
- Cedar Hill Pond - 1 acre
- Middle Fork River
All Illinois fishing regulations apply. Note: There is no fishing in
the Kennekuk Marshes.
- BOATING/CANOEING - Includes:
- Middle Fork National Scenic River - Canoe; concrete canoe launch and
access lane to accommodate bus with canoe trailer or vehicles with canoes;
vehicles must park in lot provided.
- Lake Mingo - 9.5 hp limit, sailboats;
- Twin Points Lake - electric motors only
- Upland Game: pheasant and rabbit
- Waterfowl and Goose - Lake Mingo
- Turkey - spring season only
- Deer - archery only; All Illinois hunting regulations apply, plus
V.C.C.D. hunting regulations;
fee required. There is no trapping allowed due to the recent
release of river otters.
- WILDLIFE VIEWING - The Kennekuk Marshes offer a variety of waterfowl viewing;
deer and turkey are abundant; river otters (occasional); also hawks, great blue herons,
egrets, coyote, beaver, fox and geese.
- MUSHROOM HUNTING - Great spring morel mushroom hunting. Berry picking is allowed.
Collecting of plants or ginseng is not allowed!
- CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING/JOGGING/BICYCLING - Many area schools and the Kennekuk Road
Runners use the roads and trails for cross country running. Early morning joggers utilize
the road system. Roller blading is popular on the asphalt entrance drive; bicycling is
also very popular. No mountain bikes allowed on trails.
Outdoor Youth Adventure Dare Fishing Tournament
DARE fishing tournament
LAKE VERMILION PARK
- BOATING -
(Lake Fee Required) Includes:
- Power boating (unlimited HP)
- Jet skiing
- Water skiing/tubing
- Sail boating
- Pontoon boating
- Canoeing (north end of lake)
- PICNICKING - Songer Pavilion; open shelter; playground equipment; call for
reservations, fee- if not already reserved.
- FISHING - Lake Vermilion (1000 acres) -
- Large mouth bass (Open bass tournaments, call for schedule/information)
- Tiger muskie
- Channel catfish
- Blue gill/ red ear
All Illinois fishing and boating regulations apply. Concession
building and dock system at ramp. Fuel available.
- WILDLIFE VIEWING - The north end of the lake provides excellent waterfowl
viewing. The recently released river otter has taken up residence
in the north end. Sea Gulls are common near the Dallas Bowman Bridge.
- HUNTING - Waterfowl hunting is allowed in pre-selected sites and two walk-in
areas. Special regulations apply.
HERON COUNTY PARK
- WILDLIFE VIEWING - The 950 foot floating
boardwalk is the second longest boardwalk in Illinois. The walkway
has 3 observation areas with benches for tranquil wildlife viewing.
Visitors are able to view numerous species of waterfowl that include
Canada gees, mallards, wood ducks, and also king fishers, green herons,
American egret, and a variety of songbirds and seasonal migrants. A
large great blue heron rookery is located on the northwest corner of the
park. This is one of the 3 largest rookeries in Vermilion County.
A resident pair of bald eagles can occasionally be seen and have nested
near the park for the past few years. River otters have been
reported in the area. Other mammals include beaver, muskrat, ground
hog and rabbit.
- CANOE ACCESS
- HIKING - A half mile self-guided hiking
trail is located on the north side of West Newell Road. The trail
follows the boundary of the open field and leads visitors near the wetland
ox bow, formed by flood waters and which is now a haven for wildlife.
- WATERFOWL WALK-IN HUNTING
- Waterfowl hunting is allowed in
two walk-in areas located off of the hiking
trail. Signs are posted during hunting season to
close the trail to hikers. Special regulations apply.
- PICNICKING - Picnicking is allowed in the
park, however, is limited. No trash containers are available so
visitors are required to remove all garbage. Brown bag lunches are
popular at noon hour from the many nearby businesses.
Picnicking on the boardwalk is allowed. Please do not throw trash
into the lake. A small picnic shelter is planned for the near
- OBSERVATION TOWER - A 30 foot observation
tower was built in the fall of 2003 by the International Timber Framing
Guild. The tower has 2 decks, one at the 8 foot level and on at the
20 foot level. The upper level is closed to the public and is only
used for special events when park personnel are present. The ADA
approved access ramp allows people of all ages and disabilities to ascend
to the first level.
The timber framed tower is constructed of bur and white oak with a cedar
shingle roof. Timber framed construction uses no bolts, nails, or
metal connectors. All joints are tenons and intricate notches joined
together with wooden pegs.
Tower at Heron County Park
Tower ramp under construction