Illini State Park is the type of park you think of when you think of big picnics and family gatherings. With its rustic Civilian Conservation Corps buildings and riverside picnic areas, Illini State Park offers beautiful views and a sense of history not found in many other parks.
Named for the native Americans who once inhabited the area, the 510-acre Illini State Park is located south of the Illinois River between Marseilles and U.S. Route 6. In the mid-1920s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a barge canal to bypass the rapids. The canal borders the park, and visitors can watch as large barges pass through the Marseilles Locks. Less than a mile north of the park is the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, completed in 1848 when the section from Marseilles to Morris opened.
Illini was dedicated as a state park in 1935. Hickory, ash, walnut, elm, cottonwood, oak and maple trees provide shade in the summer and beautiful colors in the fall. Wildlife abound year round.
Picnic areas, shelters and playgrounds are found throughout the park. Several of the shelters also have working fireplaces. Both tent and trailer campsites, including electric and sanitation service, are offered and some of the sites offer outstanding views of the river. A youth camp area is available for youth groups. Make campsite reservations online at www.reserveamerica.com
River fishing is popular out of Illini State Park, where a boat ramp is available.