Home » 2007 Cross Country Road Trip

Kickapoo State Park, IL

Friday, August 3, 2007 - 11:00am by Lolo
451 miles and 7.5 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


We normally travel back East on Route 80, but this time we had to cross back down to Route 70 to get to my brother’s house near Columbus, Ohio. My 87-year-old mom was starying with them while we traveled, and we had promised her that we wouldn’t forget to pick her up on our return. It was a little too much of a stretch to make it from Lake Anita in western Iowa to Columbus in one day, so we decided to break it up and find somewhere to stay in Illinois. No one said it, but I think we all liked the idea of having one more night together as a family before returning to the realities of life.

We stumbled upon Kickapoo State Park, just off I74 near the town of Danville on the eastern border of Illinois. It was the perfect choice. The campground was pleasant and full of happy camping families having a good time. You could tell it was the kind of place that people came back to year after year.

We even played a round of disc golf on the Park’s 18-hole course. For those of you unfamiliar with this new and growing sport, disc golf is a form of golf that uses a special type of frisbee instead of a ball and a wooden post or chained basket instead of a hole. We had discovered this sport on Martha’s Vineyard and even bought two discs there. I felt quite smug when I pulled the discs out of the compartment under the RV and showed them to the boys. I take pride in my packing skills and my refusal to leave anything behind that we might possibly find a need for. Herb would probably point to all the things packed and never used, but I think its better to err on the side of overpacking.

The game was fun and quite challenging, taking us across fields and through a forest. It’s not easy throwing a frisbee through a narrow corridor of trees. Tommy didn’t like me nicknaming his disc the “axe” because of its uncanny ability to hit every tree in its path. Another problem with a poorly executed throw was having to pick your disc out of patches of poison ivy or getting covered with burrs. I’m still picking burrs out of their socks.

Anyway, it was a fun stop and helped us prepare ourselves for our return to civilization.


Kickapoo State Recreation Area is located a few miles off of Interstate 74 near the town of Danville, Illinois. Its 2,842 acres of crystal-clear, deep-water ponds and lush forests provide an outdoor playground for families, which is amazing considering its past history. From 1850 to 1940, this area was so heavily strip-mined for coal that the land became a scarred and barren wasteland. Fortunately nature was able to do its part to help recover this land to the beautiful place it is today.

Today visitors to the park have a number of activities to choose from:

  • Boat or canoe around one of Kickapoo’s lakes (electric motors only). Canoes and rowboats are available for rent
  • Fish for trout, bass, channel catfish, and more on one of its 22 lakes or on the Middle Fork of the Vermillion River, which runs through the park
  • Run, bike, or hike along the 7.6 mile Out & Back nature trail
  • Mountain bike on the 12 miles of the best single track trails in central Illinois.
  • Birdwatch – over 100 species inhabit the park
  • Play 18 holes of disc (Frisbee) golf

Kickapoo has two campgrounds with a total of 184 sites. About half the sites have electrical hookups.

Kickapoo State Park location map

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