Featuring breathtaking natural beauty and amazing wildflowers, Kickapoo State park is a prime year-round spot for RV adventurists. There is so much to do at the park! It is known for being one of the only Illinois State Parks to offer a combination of hiking, canoeing, fishing for trout, camping, hunting and scuba diving. The park takes its name from the Kickapoo village that once existed near the Salt Fork and Middle Fork branches of the Vermilion River. Before becoming a state park the area was a salt and then later a coal strip mine until 1940.
Kickapoo State Park is 2,842 acres in size and features 221 acres of ponds and lakes along with 35 miles of hiking trails. Out of the ponds, there are 22 that feature deep water which are accessible to electric motor boats, canoes, and kayaks. Some of these ponds are old mining pits which explains why they are so deep. In the winter season, ice fishing and cross-country skiing are very popular activities for visitors to the park.
Campsites are available year-round at Kickapoo State Park with one campground offering 58 sites for RV camping with electric hookups and 34 with no hookups. There is also a campground that is available for primitive camping. The RV sites are also pet friendly and there are two shower houses which are open from May through to the beginning of November. Peak season at Kickapoo State Park is May through to October.
RV Rentals in Kickapoo State Park
Transportation in Kickapoo State Park
Kickapoo State Park is very easy to find. It is located right outside Danville, Illinois and can be accessed through route I-74. It is also 28 miles away from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 95 miles from Indianapolis. During the wintertime it can be quite snowy around the park. Make sure that you check the forecast and current road conditions before beginning your journey.
If you are coming west bound: Take I-74 and take exit 210 east to Danville. Keep driving for around a mile until you reach the stop light. Turn left at stop light and travel around two miles north. There will be a large church on the left side of the road, turn left after you go past it. There will be a sign for Kickapoo State Park. Take this road for around two miles into the park. The campground entrance will be on the right.
Coming east bound: Take I-74 and take exit 206. Once you exit, turn back left back over the interstate. Keep driving for around two miles and then turn right at the Kickapoo State Park sign. Keep driving east for approximately three miles. You will cross the Middle Fork River bridge and go straight up hill between the lakes. The campgrounds will be on the right.
Campgrounds and parking in Kickapoo State Park
Campsites in Kickapoo State Park
Kickapoo State Park Campgrounds
There are three different loops at the main RV campground at Kickapoo State Park. The Erie Loop has 34 non-powered sites that can accommodate RV's up to 20 feet in size. The Fox and Illini loops have 58 powered sites that vary between 30 and 50 amp. For this loop you will be able to set up camp with RVs that are up to 40' in length. Note that if you stay on an electric site and don't use the hookup you will still have to pay for the electricity availability.
While there are no water hookups that go direct to each site, there are three water collection points available in central locations. There are two shower blocks in the campground and one dump station. Other amenities include a playground, picnic tables and a camp store that sells concessions and firewood. Phone service should be available throughout the campground. Pets must be on leashes at all times. If you plan to come during the Winter the shower block will be closed. The parks quiet hours are ten P.M. until seven A.M. The maximum length of stay is 14 days within a 30-day period.
Seasonal activities in Kickapoo State Park
Kickapoo State Park is very unique as it one of only a handful of state parks in Illinois that allows scuba diving. If you have proper dive certification and you register at the park office, you will be allowed to dive in the park. The deep waters of Inland Sea and Sportsman's Lake are the most popular spots to scuba dive. No gear is available to hire, so you must bring your own masks and tanks if you want to go diving.
Even if you don't like to fish there are still plenty of ways to get out on the water in Kickapoo State Park. Since there are so many different ponds and rivers, you should think about what you want to do on the waters. A concession stand within the park offers canoe, tube, kayak and paddle board rentals. They also offer shuttle services to certain parts of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River for you to enjoy. If you want to get out on Clear Lake there are boats for rent there, or you could go for a paddle down the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River with a canoe, inner tube or kayak. A 13-mile kayak trip begins at Kinny's Ford, an eight-mile trip starts at Bunker Hill, or you could do a combination of two miles on the Vermilion River and paddle through three lakes in the park.
The Vermilion River and 22 different ponds are found in Kickapoo State Park, which makes it a fantastic spot to go fishing. There are many different fish species found in these waters. Some of the most common to catch are largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and redear sunfish. If you are in the park during the fall and spring months rainbow trout will also be stocked in the ponds. If you want to go fishing in a boat there are 12 launching ramps on nine of Kickapoo's lakes.
More than 1,000 acres are available to hunt on in Kickapoo State Park, including forests, grasslands, edge and cropland. Hunters in the park are allowed harvest white-tailed deer, woodcock, quail, squirrel, dove, cock pheasant, rabbit, raccoon and opossum. There are also trapping and archery ranges available inside the park. Before hunting in the park you must register at the park office. Special regulations and restrictions apply, so make sure you go to the office and understand what you can and can't do.
Kickapoo State Park is a mountain biking paradise. There are 200 acres in the park that have been allocated for mountain bike use. In total there are 11 mountain bike trails that range from easy to difficult, which allows all skill levels the opportunity to have some fun. Some of the more difficult trails have small jumps, switchbacks, steep inclines, and benchcut ravines. Mountain bike trails are open for visitors to use year-round, although they close during the annual fall firearm hunting seasons.
Hiking is a dream in Kickapoo State Park with seven different marked trails available for you to explore. There are 35 miles of hiking trails to keep you entertained during your stay. One of the more challenging trails is the seven and a half-mile Out and Back running trail. The Out and Back trail is the longest trail in the park and runs from the group camp area across the Johnson Hill Bridge. This particular hike also winds through forest and edges of cropland.