Illinois State Parks

One Of The Illinois State Parks Features A 48 Foot High Statue Called The Eternal Indian

There are presently forty-nine State Parks in Illinois together with a number of Fish and Wildlife parks, nature reserves and state forests.

In all there are well over a hundred different areas being administered by the state controlling body which is the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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The system of state parks in Illinois began as far back as 1908 when Fort Massac State Park was first opened.

The most recently created park was the Hazel & Bill Rutherford Wildlife Prairie State Park which opened in 2000.

The Illinois River At Starved Rock State Park

However, like most of the American states, the Illinois State Parks has suffered from shrinking budgets and lack of funding.

Eleven Illinois parks were slated to close in November 2008 but this decision was reversed in February 2009 when a new State Governor, Pat Quinn, was appointed.

Illinois as a state has the fifth largest population in America and, in Chicago, one of the biggest metropolitan areas. The city is also an extremely important transportation center, O`Hare International Airport is among the busiest in the world.

Despite being in the center of the North American landmass, Chicago is a hugely important port because of the St. Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes and the link to the Mississippi River via the Illinois River. It therefore rivals many other ports around the world.

The Impressive Skyline Of Chicago

The highest point in the state is Charles Mound at only 1,235 feet above sea level, so you are not going to find any Illionois State Parks located on the side of a mountain!

However, this fairly low-lying region is home to many major rivers and lakes and a number of the state parks in Illinois are to be found on them.

For example, the 1,700 acre Chain O`Lakes State Park is actually situated on as many as eleven lakes! Other lakeside parks include Argyle Lake State Park, Horseshoe Lake State Park and Lake Murphysboro State Park. Of course the biggest lake of the all is Lake Michigan and on its shores is the very popular Illinois Beach State Park.

Rivers also play a major role in the location of some Illinois State Parks. Mississippi Palisades State Park, Nauvoo State Park and Pere Marquette State Park are all found on the Mississippi, while Buffalo Rock State Park and Starved Rock State Park are on the banks of the Illinois River.

The 48 Feet High Statue Of Black Hawk At Lowden State Park

For thousands of years Native American tribes have lived close to the waterways in Illinois, many of them fought each other constantly. It is therefore no surprise that when the European settlers arrived they fought them as well.

Among the most notable of these conflicts was the 1832 Black Hawk War between the United States and the Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo tribes.

Their leader, Black Hawk, is remembered at one of the most popular of the Illinois State Parks which is Lowden State Park where a 48 foot high statue was built in 1911. Although known as the Black Hawk Statue it is officially called "The Eternal Indian" and looks down from the heights above the Rock River.

The state slogan for Illinois, which has been displayed on car license plates since 1954, is "Land Of Lincoln."

This is because Abraham Lincoln was elected to the Presidency whilst living in this great state.

The "Land Of Lincoln" Illinois Car Licence Plate

Here is a list of the Illinois State Parks -

  • Apple River Canyon State Park
  • Argyle Lakei State Park
  • Beall Woods State Park
  • Beaver Dam State Park
  • Buffalo Rock State Park
  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Cave-In-Rock State Park
  • Chain O`Lakes State Park
  • Channahon State Park
  • Delabar State Park
  • Dixon Springs State Park
  • Donnelley/Depue State Park
  • Fern Clyffe State Park
  • Fort Massac State Park
  • Fox Ridge State Park
  • Franklin Creek State Park
  • Gebhard Woods State Park
  • Giant City State Park
  • Hazel & Bill Rutherford Wildlife Prairie State Park
  • Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
  • Horseshoe Lake State Park
  • Illini State Park
  • Illinois Beach State Park
  • James "Pate" Philip State Park
  • Johnson-Sauk Trail State Park
  • Jubilee College State Park
  • Kankakee River State Park
  • Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park
  • Lake Murphysboro State Park
  • Lincoln Trail State Park
  • Lowden State Park
  • Matthiessen State Park
  • Mississippi Palisades State Park
  • Moraine Hills State Park
  • Morrison-Rockwood State Park
  • Nauvoo State Park
  • Pere Marquette State Park
  • Red Hills State Park
  • Rock Cut State Park
  • Rock Island Trail State Park
  • Shabbona Lake State Park
  • Siloam Springs State Park
  • South Shore State Park
  • Starved Rock State Park
  • Walnut Point State Park
  • Weinburg-King State Park
  • White Pines Forest State Park
  • William G. Stratton State Park
  • Wolf Creek State Park

And this is a county map of Illinois