Activities at Apple River Canyon State Park


Apple River Canyon State Park offers 49 Class "C" sites without showers in the Canyon Ridge Campground and 6 group sites in the Walnut Grove Youth Campground. Reservations are accepted through the ExploreMoreIL™ website.

Winter camping is available from 11/1 - 4/15 in the Walnut Grove Youth Campground. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the campgrounds.

Maps are available online for the Canyon Ridge Campground and Walnut Grove Youth Camp.


Hunting is available in the Thompson and Salem Units, Iris and Jack Witkowsky Wildlife Area , Tapley Woods Natural Area, Hanover Bluff Natural Area, Wards Grove Nature Preserve, Rall Woods Natural Area, and Winston Tunnel Natural Area. Contact the park office for more information or check the Hunter Fact Sheets.


The Apple River has a variety of fish including smallmouth bass, sunfish, crappie, carp and suckers. The river is one of several in the state where the Illinois Department of Natural Resources releases keeper-size trout. Trout require clean, clear, cold water and in the spring, Apple River meets these requirements in the spring, however, the fish do not survive through the hot summer months, so the stream is stocked for seasonal trout fishing seasons.


Four picnic areas with tables, grills, accessible drinking water and toilets may be found along the river’s banks at Apple River Canyon State Park. The site also has three shelters, two of which are accessible. Shelter reservations are available through the Reserve America website at ExploreMoreIL™.


Five trails - Pine Ridge, Tower Rock, River Route, Sunset and Primrose Trail (accessible) - wind through the woods for several miles within the park. Trails can be hazardous; please stay on the trail.