Illinois Closing All State Park Lakes to Public

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In what has been one of the most confusing weeks in recent history, numerous states have taken measures to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Pennsylvania took measures by closing all state park facilities on March 16th. Access to forests, roads, trails, parking lots and (most importantly) lakes, however, was still available.

Illinois took measures a step further, however. On Sunday, March 15th, it was declared that all property owned and operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources would be closing indefinitely.

Unsurprisingly, this decision was not popular with many individuals. Comments poured in on the Illinois DNR’s Facebook post, urging for the closure of facilities only. Understandably, many fear both “cabin fever” and the complete suppression of healthy alternatives to simply sitting inside for the foreseeable future.

Which Illinois State Parks and Lakes are Affected?

Throughout the state, there are dozens of parks, forests, and fisheries that will suspend services until further notice. Below, you will find these areas broken down geographically.

Northwestern Illinois

  • Anderson Lake
  • Apple River Canyon
  • Argyle Lake
  • Banner Marsh
  • Big Bend
  • Big River
  • Buffalo Rock
  • Castle Rock
  • Delabar
  • Donnelley/DePue
  • Franklin Creek
  • Green River
  • Henderson County
  • Hennepin Canal
  • Illini
  • Johnson-Sauk Trail
  • Jubilee College
  • Lake Le-Aqua-Na
  • LaSalle Lake
  • Lowden
  • Lowden-Miller
  • Mackinaw River
  • Marseilles
  • Marshall
  • Matthiessen
  • Mautino
  • Mississippi Palisades
  • Morrison Rockwood
  • Powerton Lake
  • Prophetstown
  • Rice Lake
  • Rock Cut
  • Rock Island Trail
  • Shabbona Lake
  • Snakeden Hollow
  • Spring Lake
  • Starved Rock
  • White Pines Forest
  • Woodford

Northeastern Illinois

  • Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach
  • Chain O’ Lakes
  • Channahon
  • Des Plaines
  • Gebhard Woods
  • Goose Lake Prairie
  • Heidecke Lake
  • Illinois & Michigan Canal
  • James “Pate” Philip (Tri-County)
  • Kankakee River
  • Mazonia-Braidwood
  • Moraine Hills
  • North Point Marina
  • Silver Springs
  • Volo Bog
  • William G. Stratton
  • William W. Powers

East Central Illinois

  • Clinton Lake
  • Eagle Creek
  • Fox Ridge
  • Harry ‘Babe’ Woodyard
  • Hidden Springs
  • Iroquois County
  • Kickapoo
  • Lincoln Trail
  • Lincoln Trail Homestead
  • Middle Fork
  • Moraine View
  • Shelbyville
  • Spitler Woods
  • Walnut Point
  • Weldon Springs
  • Wolf Creek

West Central Illinois

  • Beaver Dam
  • Carlyle Lake
  • Coffeen Lake
  • Edward R. Madigan
  • Eldon Hazlet
  • Fall Creek Overlook
  • Frank Holten
  • Fults Hill Prairie
  • Horseshoe Lake-Madison
  • Illinois Caverns
  • Jim Edgar Panther Creek
  • Kaskaskia River
  • Kidd Lake Marsh
  • Mississippi River
  • Nauvoo
  • Peabody River King
  • Pere Marquette
  • Piney Creek Ravine
  • Randolph County
  • Ray Norbut
  • Sand Ridge
  • Sanganois
  • Sangchris Lake
  • Siloam Springs
  • Turkey Bluffs
  • Washington County
  • Weinberg-King
  • World Shooting and Recreational Complex

Southern Illinois

  • Beall Woods
  • Cache River
  • Cape Bend
  • Cave-In-Rock
  • Crawford County
  • Devil’s Island
  • Dixon Springs
  • Ferne Clyffe
  • Fort Massac
  • Giant City
  • Golconda Marina
  • Hamilton County
  • Horseshoe Lake-Alexander
  • Kinkaid Lake
  • Lake Murphysboro
  • Little Grassy Lake
  • Mermet Lake
  • Newton Lake
  • Pyramid
  • Ramsey Lake
  • Red Hills
  • Rend Lake
  • Sahara Woods
  • Saline County
  • Sam Dale Lake
  • Sam Parr
  • Sielbeck Forest
  • Stephen A. Forbes
  • Ten Mile Creek
  • Trail of Tears
  • Tunnel Hill
  • Union County
  • Wayne Fitzgerrell

Can I Still Fish in Illinois?

As of this writing, it is still legal to fish private ponds that are not owned and operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. That said, you must obtain permission from the land owner before doing so.

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