Kennekuk Cove County Park

Raleigh at the entrance to the park

The park is named for Kennekuk known as the Kickapoo Prophet  — medicine man and spiritual leader  — he lived most of his life in East Central Illinois along the Vermilion River

From Vermilion County Conservation District:

Founded in 1974, Kennekuk County Park is 3000 acres in size and is located five miles west of Danville. It is bordered on the west by the Middle Fork National Scenic River and the Middle Fork State Wildlife Area (3000 acres). Kickapoo State Park (3000 acres) is three miles to the south. These vast public ownerships (except Kickapoo) were purchased in the 1970’s for the creation of the Middle Fork Reservoir. The project was never developed past the initial stages due to lack of funding and environmental opposition. *

Kennekuk County Park is an oak-hickory forest type with native tall grass prairie areas. It contains three Illinois Nature Preserves within its boundaries (Windfall Prairie, Horseshoe Bottoms and Fairchild Cemetery).

Lake Mingo is a 170 acre lake within the park. There is a 9.5 HP limit. Lake decals are required.

Kennekuk County Park offers archery deer, turkey, waterfowl and upland game hunting. See Recreational Opportunities for more information. A Visitor Center is open daily except holidays and weekends during winter months. It includes a natural history museum, 1000 gallon aquarium and a Native American display.

*Part of the environmental opposition included archeological sites, and the bluebreast darter species of fish which inhabits this section of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River.

3.3 million cubic yards of coal ash from a now closed electrical generating plant threaten the Middle Fork River — hence, the sign

Heavy metals leaching from the coal ash threaten the Middle Fork River  — part of the ash field is in direct contact with the river

Photo:  Chicago Tribune

Here is more information concerning the coal ash issue

View leading into the park

Prairie vegetation prior to settlement

Oak-Hickory Woodlands

Environmental Education Center where Naturalists teach classes for all Vermilion County schools

One of several shelters in the park

Field Office/Garceaus in the park are rather primitive

Bunker Hill Historic Area hosts several early period buildings

Vermilion Chapel still hosts weddings

Note Field Office

One room school house complete with period furnishings  — and merry-go-round

Separate but equal Garceau

Barber Shop, Dry Cleaning, Laundry, and Surgery if needed

Print Shop — with Line-O-Type machine that still operates!

Pre-Casey’s Convenient Store

Herb Garden

Rail car was once a restaurant in Danville — quite a feat moving it here

Bismarck, Illinois’ old Depot

View northeast of Bunker Hill Historic Area — Atwood House on the left  — built in 1892

On the way to Lake Mingo

Lake Mingo

Somewhat of a drop to lake level

Fishing Docks

Got the Raleigh into 2nd gear in this relatively flat area and DID pedal back up what must be a nearly 30% slope  — thankfully, a short one!

The ascending road is visible to the left of and above the Mingo sign

Upper end of the lake


So, a very enjoyable ride if not a long one, only around 8 miles, but lots of branch roads were not explored — next time.  🙂

Ready to load up and head home





Very much enjoy all the entries you all have provided -- great to see the everyday cycling venues. Being in eastern Illinois, scenery certainly isn't our forte, but oh well, the roads are normally quiet. Look forward to more and more entries from all of you, I do have a few over on BL -- in Bill's Day Rides, and one journal.

4 response to "Kennekuk Cove County Park"

  1. By: The Navigator Posted: August 25, 2019

    Brings back lots of memories of going to state parks as a kid – especially those brown and yellow signs. Seems like there are lots of chemical threats to watersheds in IL and IN. I don’t think you are allowed to swim anymore in any of the natural lakes or streams we visited at state parks and natural areas as a kid 🙁

  2. By: Bill Stone Posted: August 26, 2019

    Nice tour. Some of that reminds me of Moraine View State Park and Dawson Lake.

  3. By: NancyG Posted: August 26, 2019

    You have endless nooks and crannies to show us!! Your ride looks like a good one.

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