Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Utility Links

​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Breadcrumb

  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Parks
  3. Activities

Activities at Kankakee River

Hunting
The park's abundant wildlife makes it a popular spot for hunters. Only bow hunting is allowed for deer. Firearm hunting is permitted for duck, pheasant, turkey, dove, rabbit, squirrel, fox, coyote and raccoon. Before taking any game, contact the site office or check the Hunter Fact Sheet for opening dates, shooting times and areas open to hunting.
For information about archery deer hunting for people with disabilities, please call the park.

Fishing
The Kankakee is a clean river, great for landing smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye and Northern pike. Rock Creek also is a good angling spot. The park has two boat ramps: a launch at the Warner Bridge Day Use Area and a launch at the Area 9 parking lot on the south side of the river. Both launches are for launching craft with motors of 10 horsepower or less. Boating can be hazardous because the river is shallow and rocky.

Canoeing
The river's shallow water and rocks are no problem for canoeists. Bring your canoe or rent locally and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Camping
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Quarantine is in effect for Kankakee County. No firewood can be brought into or taken out of the park. Alternate sources must be used.
Pleasant sites, at reasonable prices, make Kankakee River State Park a great place to pitch-camp. There are 98 sites are offered at Chippewa Campgrounds -- sites are Class BE (electricity only, no showers) and Class C (no electricity, no showers).
Potawatomi Campground, classified as Class A (showers and electricity), has 110 sites and two Rent-a-Cabins in a wooded setting, is closed for the 2016 season for an improvement project;
Reservations are taken for Kankakee River Class A, BE, and C campgrounds. The campgrounds close at 10 p.m. and all campgrounds observe quiet hours from 10 p.m. - 7 a.m. No vehicular traffic is allowed during this time. You must be 18 years old to rent a campsite and must be able to establish your camp at the time you obtain a permit. All campsites have a picnic table and a campgrill. Camping is only allowed in the campgrounds. Credit cards are not accepted. No alcohol is allowed.
Camping reservations are available online at www.reserveamerica.com

Campgrounds maps:
Chippewa Campground:  http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R2/KNR/Chippewa.pdf 

Pottawatomi Campground: (Currently closed for the 2016 season) http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R2/KNR/Potawatomi.pdf

Cabin Information:  http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R2/KNR/knr_cabininfo.pdf

The Equestrian Campground off Illinois Route 113 is open from April 1 through October 31. Equestrian trails operate on a seasonal basis.  There is no water available in the Equestrian Campground.  Equestrian Campground map:  http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R2/KNR/knr_Equestrian_GroupMap.pdf

Davis Creek Campground is available by reservation for chaperoned youth and church groups. All areas require camping permits, available at the park office or from park personnel in state vehicles. Groups of 25 or more are required to obtain a free activity permit from the park office. Davis Creek Campground map:  http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R2/KNR/knr_DavisCrkY_Omap.pdf

Picnicking
For a light lunch or a large get-together, check out the park's picnic areas. Shelters and tables are placed in pleasant settings throughout the park, and you'll also find playgrounds in several locations. All shelters have campgrills. All shelters may be reserved at www.reserveamerica.com. Groups of 25 or more are asked to obtain a free permit from the park office at least two weeks before the park visit. Shelter maps and information:  Kankakee River Shelter Information Sheet

Trails
The park's trail system stretches for miles along both sides of the Kankakee River. Hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails are on the river's north side, while horse and snowmobile trails can be found on the south. A 3-mile route along Rock Creek lets hikers take in the beauty of limestone canyons and a frothy waterfall. A bicycle trail begins at Davis Creek Area and travels 10.5 miles along the river and loops in the west end of the park.
A 12-mile equestrian trail is located in the wildlife management area along Route 113 and is open April 1 through October 31.  In mid-January when hunting season ends and when there's snow cover of 4 inches or more, the park is open from sunrise to sunset for snowmobiling. Directional signs for trails are posted at Area 4 and maps are available at the park office.

Park Restrictions
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the park and campgrounds at all times.
Because the Kankakee River is unpredictable with fast currents, drop offs and a rocky bottom, no swimming is allowed in any area, including Rock Creek.
All motorized vehicles are prohibited on all of the Kankakee River State Park trails. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the bicycle trail.
Quiet hours are 10 p.m. - 7 a.m. Vehicle traffic is not allowed during quiet hours.

• While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
• At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
• Pets must be kept on leashes at all times and clean up after them.
• Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
• We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.