Vermilion Co. Conservation District
The Vermilion County Conservation District is a local, property-tax-supported government agency, created in 1966 by voters. The district maintains one forest preserve and three parks covering more than 5,800 acres in Vermilion County.
Forest Glen Preserve
20301 E. 900 N Road, 7 miles east of Westville • 662-2142
Features: Hiking, 25 miles of trails plus an 11-mile backpack trail and asphalt handicapped trail (1/3 mile); camping, electric and nonelectric sites; fishing, all Illinois fishing regulations apply; boating and canoeing; mushroom hunting and berry picking; 72-foot observation tower.
Edgewood Center: Indoor air-conditioned and heated facility with kitchen, restrooms, large roofed porch with picnic tables, outside grill, horseshoe pit and volleyball standards; near playground and ball diamond.
Maple Grove Lodge: Large indoor air-conditioned and heated facility in wooded area overlooking
Edgewood Pond, fireplace, deck, electricity and rustic restrooms; horseshoe pit and volleyball standards.
Audubon Barn: Rustic indoor facility on Willow Creek Pond, fireplace; horseshoe pit and volleyball standards; rustic restrooms nearby.
Meadowlark Shelter: Open-air shelter with picnic tables, electricity, outdoor grills, rustic restrooms, horseshoe pit and volleyball standards, near ball diamond.
Pine Knoll Shelter: Same as Meadowlark, except slightly smaller.
Pioneer Homestead Area: Rustic cabin, open field where re-enactments take place. Open 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays for various displays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Directions: From Interstate 74 take the Georgetown Road exit (Illinois 1). Take Illinois 1 south to Georgetown; go east out of Georgetown on Mill Road for about 2 miles; turn left, or north, onto 1880 E Road and go to 900 N Road; turn right, or east, onto 900 N Road and the park entrance will be about a mile down on the left.
Kennekuk County Park
22296-A Henning Road, Danville • 442-1691
Features: This 3,000-acre park is an oak-hickory forest type with native tall grass prairie areas, a 170-acre Lake Mingo that’s open to fishing and a historic area, Bunker Hill, that´s an 1800s-style town.
Other features include 10 miles of hiking trails plus 7 1/2-mile Lake Mingo Trail that winds around the edge of Lake Mingo. Fishing in the lake and other ponds, all Illinois fishing regulations apply; boating and canoeing; hunting, all Illinois hunting regulations apply, plus conservation district hunting regulations, no trapping; wildlife viewing at Kennekuk Marshes; mushroom hunting and berry picking; cross-country running, jogging, inline skating and bicycling on hardtop drives, no mountain bikes allowed on trails. Rotary Point Shelter: Open-air shelter with picnic tables on Lake Mingo; electricity, outdoor grill; near playground, rustic restrooms and drinking water faucet.
Bunker Hill Historic Area: Buildings open 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Memorial Day through Labor Day. 1800s chapel, one-room school, grocery store, barbershop, print shop, barn, train dining car, train depot, two-story farmhouse, gazebo and herb garden. With the exception of Vermilion Chapel, built on its site in 1886, all the buildings have been moved to the area as a unit or dismantled and rebuilt on site.
Vermilion Chapel: Oldest church in Vermilion County; available for church services and weddings only, no receptions, capacity 75.
Laury Barn: Rustic facility with refrigerator, double sink, serving counter, hot water, modern indoor restroom facility nearby, loft area for additional seating, no heat or outdoor grills, ideal for large groups or wedding receptions.
The Hideaway: Indoor facility with kitchen, restrooms, breezeway, outdoor deck, grills, fireplace, volleyball standards and horseshoe pits.
White Oak Barn: Rustic indoor facility with refrigerator, double sink, serving counter, hot water, stone fireplace; outdoor grills, near playground, rustic restrooms and drinking water faucet.
Directions: From Interstate 74, take the Martin Luther King exit and head east, toward Danville, on U.S. 150; turn left, or north, at the first stoplight onto Henning Road. The entrance to Kennekuk will be on the left several miles north.
Lake Vermilion Park
Denmark Road, Danville • 442-1691
Features: Lake Vermilion is a 1,000-acre lake in Danville that serves as a water supply and is owned by Aqua Illinois Inc. The conservation district maintains the lease on the lake and manages the recreational activities that include fishing, boating (unlimited horsepower), jet skiing, water skiing/tubing, sailboating, pontoon boating and fishing tournaments.
The park has a boat ramp, dock complex, concession building, playground and open shelter, Songer Pavilion. The open-air shelter overlooks the lake and has picnic tables, electricity, outdoor grills, rustic restrooms and drinking water faucet, playground equipment and can be reserved by calling 442-1691. The lake is heavily stocked for fishing with 3,000 largemouth bass added per year. The lake also has tiger muskies, channel catfish, crappie and walleye.
Directions: From Interstate 74, take the Gilbert Street exit into Danville; take Gilbert Street several miles north through Danville until Winter Avenue. At that T-intersection, turn left onto Winter Avenue (which turns into Denmark Road) and follow it across Lake Vermilion; the entrance to Lake Vermilion Park will be on the right after a curve in the road.
Heron County Park
West Newell Road, north of Danville • 442-1691
Features: The county’s newest park is centered around a 950-foot floating boardwalk that winds through the marsh area where the North Fork River runs into the north end of Lake Vermilion. It’s the second-longest boardwalk in Illinois and includes three observation areas with benches; canoe access to Lake Vermilion and the North Fork River; hiking, half-mile self-guided trail on the north side of West Newell Road follows the boundary of the open field and leads visitors near the wetland ox bow, formed by floodwaters, which is now a haven for wildlife; waterfowl hunting allowed in two walk-in areas off the hiking trail, special regulations apply, fee required; 30-foot observation tower, built in 2003 by the International Timber Framing Guild, has two decks, one at the 8-foot level and one at the 20-foot level, upper level is closed to the public and is only used for special events, and first level has ADA-approved access ramp; shelter recently completed.
Directions: From Interstate 74, take the Gilbert Street exit into Danville and follow Gilbert until a T-intersection with Winter Avenue; turn right onto Winter and left at the next stoplight onto Vermilion Street; follow Vermilion for several miles through north Danville; at the stoplight intersection with West Newell Road, turn left onto West Newell and follow it over North Fork River; the park entrance will be on the left.