Kankakee River State Park
Address: 5314 West Rt. 102, Bourbonnais, IL
Time from Chicago: 1 hour, 15 minutes (59 miles)
Camping at Kankakee River State Park
Looking for a place near Chicago with a ton of camping sites? Check out Kankakee River State Park, which is just over an hour from the Windy City and offers 260 camping sites, each with a picnic table and grill.
The Potawatomi Campground provides 110 Class A sites (with showers and electricity), open during normal camping season. The Chippewa Campground has more than 150 more rustic sites of Class B and C. These sites have no showers, and while some have electricity, others do not. You may make reservations in advance. See maps of both campgrounds on the park’s official site.
As for the rest of the park, there’s plenty of recreational opportunities to keep you occupied. Kankakee River State Park offers trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, fishing, canoeing, and horse and snowmobile riding. No swimming is allowed in the Kankakee River, because of its fast currents and rocks.
Visitors can even hunt in the park. Deer may only be taken by bow, but other small animals can be hunted with rifles. Hunters must inquire with the park to ascertain which areas of the park are open for hunting, so don’t expect any hunters to be accidentally firing arrows through your campground.
The Kankakee River State Park sits on land once used by various Native American groups into the 1800s. The grave of Potawatomi Chief Shaw-waw-nas-see is noted by a boulder along the nature trail at Rock Creek.
Image: Creative Commons, user marc_buehler