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Illinois State Parks

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USA Parks
Northern Region
Illini State Park
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2660 East 2350th Rd.
Marseilles, Illinois   61341

Phone: 815-795-2448
Reservations: 815-795-2448
Email: park email button icon
Illini State Park is the kind of park you think of when you think of big picnics and family gatherings. With its rustic Civilian Conservation Corps buildings and riverside picnic areas, Illini State Park offers beautiful views and a sense of history not found in many other parks.

Named for the native Americans who once inhabited the area, Illini State Park is located south of the Illinois River from Marseilles and U.S. Route 6. The northern edge of the 510-acre park is bordered by the Great Falls of the Illinois River. In just two miles, the river drops three feet, creating beautiful roaring rapids. The east end of the park is the former site of the prestigious Marsatawa Country Club.
Nature of the Area
Hickory, ash, walnut, elm, cottonwood, oak and maple trees provide shady coolness in the summer and beautiful colors in the fall. Spring is highlighted by blooming wildflowers, Whitetail deer, squirrels, possum, beavers, raccoon, groundhogs, and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds can be seen during all seasons.
History of the Area
Several reminders of America's Industrial Age can be seen at Illini State Park. The area is part of an old glacial feature called the Marseilles Moraine and is underlaid by 100 feet of coal. A large coal mine one mile south of the park supplied coal to Marseilles industries until World War II. The Illinois Traction System, an interurban electric transit system that ran from Chicago to Princeton, was one of those industries. The Marseilles powerhouse for the ITS can still be seen on the north bank of the river.

Less than one mile north of the park is the historic Illinois-Michigan Canal, which was completed in 1848, when the section from Marseilles to Morris opened. The I & M Canal carried the area's commerce until the railroads became the transportation giants.

Although the Illinois River rapids are wonderful to watch, they made barge traffic difficult. In the mid-1920s, the Army Corps of Engineers built a barge canal to bypass the rapids. The canal borders the park on the north, and visitors can watch as large barges pass by the park and through the Marseilles Locks.

The prestigious Marsatawa Country Club once graced the east end of the park. Organized by Ottawa resident W.D. Boyce, who also founded the Boy Scouts of America, the club boasted one of the premier golf courses of its day.

In the 1930s, two companies of the Civilian Conservation Corps converted the golf course to a park and built park buildings that are still in use today. The former country club building was moved into Marseilles and serves as the American Legion Hall.

The CCC camp at the west end of the park was converted into a semi-correctional boys' camp that provided maintenance in the park until it was closed in the late 1960s.

Illini entered the state park system in 1934 and was dedicated in 1935.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
There is something for every type of camper at Illini State Park. Both tent and trailer sites, including electric and sanitation service, are offered and some of the sites offer breathtaking views of the river. A youth area is available for youth groups and should be reserved in advance through the site office. All campers should obtain permits from the site staff or campground host upon arrival.
Nearby Accommodations
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Relax in the rustic beauty and comfort of Starved Rock Lodge, Cabins and Starved Rock Inn. The historic Lodge has 69 guest rooms, which include three bay-window rooms, plus cabins nestled in the woods. Fireplaces can be found in four of the eight sunset cabins near the pool area...
14.4 miles from park*
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Cottages and Cabins
Within a 10 minute drive from Starved Rock and even closer to Matthiessen State Parks you will find a gorgeous, tranquil property with spacious cabins on 50 wooded acres. All with full kitchens and outdoor fire pits. 3 dog friendly.
19 miles from park*
Anglers will find ample supplies of crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, carp, bullheads and many other species in the Illinois River. A boat ramp is available for visitors' boats, but rental boats are not available. Although there is no motor limit on the Illinois River, boaters should be aware of the danger of barge traffic and the close proximity of the Marseilles Lock and Dam.
Anglers will find ample supplies of crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, carp, bullheads and many other species in the Illinois River.

Scattered throughout the park are picnic areas and shelters with tables, outdoor grills, drinking water, toilets and playgrounds. Several of the shelters also have working fireplaces.
Area Attractions
Illini State Park is the perfect place for winter fun. An ice skating pool and hills ideal for sledding provide hardy outdoor enjoyment. A shelter offers a comfortable setting for warming fingers and toes after a winter workout.

Hikers will enjoy exploring the park and its many scenic and historic offerings. Open fields, a baseball diamond and numerous horseshoe pits provide additional recreational opportunities. A concession stand has food and drink in the warmer months.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 30 One of my favorites!
park review stars; one to five We have rented the small cabin by the river several times and really enjoyed our stays. Love watching the barges go bye. Good hiking trails. Fishing area within driving distance of park. In the park we saw many different birds. Close to other nice State parks also. Very clean.
October 13 Beautiful Fall Leave Color! by Abilgal G.
park review stars; one to five Visited the park over the Columbus Day weekend and the colors were just beautiful! This park has 2 very friendly and helpful campground host that do a terrific job with a park so packed! Sites are all nice and a great view of the river with barges and boats going by. We stayed in the Great Falls campground. There is also a cabin that can be rented which sits with a great view of the river. We would visit again and again!
September 19 Poor Experience by Bruce
park review stars; one to five Camping spots by river are extremely close together and filled with large 50 foot RVs. Barge and railroad traffic is loud. Campground hosts were extremely unfriendly. The wooded sites which are not shown on the DNR State Park Map are much nicer and spread apart. Would not recommend this place.
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Area Campgrounds
Pleasant Creek Campground
926 North 2150th Road
Oglesby, IL
Troll Hollow Campground
2265 North 2453 Road
Maseilles, IL
Glenwood RV Resort
551 Wilson Street
Marseilles, IL
1170 North 27th Road
Ottawa, IL
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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You will feel right at home when you reach Carroll County, our corner of beautiful Northwest Illinois. The magnificent Mississippi River and outdoor spaces will refresh your spirit and touch our soul.
93.5 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

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Illinois State Parks