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
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
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
Somewhat of a drop to lake level
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