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Illinois State Parks

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USA Parks
Rice Lake State Fish Wildlife Area
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Campfire and Hotdogs ©
Roasting hot dogs over an open fire.
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19721 N. US 24
Canton, Illinois   61520

Phone: 309-647-9184
Email: park email button icon
Providing a stop over area for migrating waterfowl, Rice Lake and the surrounding areas provide an excellent opportunity for wildlife observation. Because of an extensive habitat management program, this backwater wetland area is used by thousands of ducks and geese as they move through central Illinois during the changing seasons. Visitors also may encounter one of several threatened or endangered plant and animal species such as the American bald eagle, which uses the bottomland timber for roosting. Fishing is a favorite pastime at the area with catches of largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish, bullhead buffalo and carp. However, with seasonal fluctuations of the water levels, fishing may be limited during certain times of the year. Duck hunting and archery deer hunting also provide opportunities for the outdoor sportsman.
History of the Area
The initial purchase of land, which now makes up Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Fulton County near the Illinois River, was in 1945. These original 2,370 acres were designated as a refuge for migratory waterfowl with a portion to serve the hunters who contributed largely toward its purchase. Camping facilities were added and in 1970 renovated. The Department of Conservation purchased two of the neighboring waterfowl clubs consisting of 2,952 acres to provide increased mid-migration habitat. This current 5,660-acre area includes Big Lake, Slim Lake, Goose Lake, Pond Lily Lake, Lock Pond and the Copperas Creek Management Unit. Because the area is subject to extensive flooding, water management projects have been established to provide water control. Each year the lake is drawn down and aerially seeded with high quality moist soil plants to provide food to attract waterfowl as the migrate.
If you have time for an overnight stay, tent and trailer camping areas are available. Thirty-two of the sites are graveled and have electricity hookups. Two are paved for handicapped access.

For a break from fishing or a long nature walk, visitors can take advantage of a shady picnic area featuring tables, drinking water and restrooms.

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Area Campgrounds
Fulton County Camping & Rec Area
18773 North Conservation Road
Canton, IL
Evening Star Camping Resort
23049 US Highway 136
Topeka, IL
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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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...
76.6 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.
69 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

Rice Lake/Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Areas are both accessible by US Rte 24. Both sites are well signed with Banner Marsh providing four access points and Rice Lake one.Traveling from the north, via I-55 to Bloomington-Normal, take I-74 west to 474 which will bypass Peoria to the south. Exit 474 onto US Rte 24 west, travel approximately 15 miles on US Rte 24 west to access Banner Marsh and approximately 20 miles to the entrance to Rice Lake.Traveling from the south, you can access these sites by utilizing these same routes. Traveling from the east or west, travelers may utilize US Rte 136 to state routes 78 & 97, one miles west of Havana. Travel north approximately five miles to US Rte 24, then approximately 12 miles to the Rice Lake entrance and 17 miles to the Banner Marsh entrance.

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Illinois State Parks