Kankakee River State Park's Chippewa campground reopens after 8 years

[UGCCHI-CJ]"Reflective Kankakee River"

South-suburban campers will soon have a new option when looking for parks to explore, as the Kankakee River State Park’s Chippewa campground will reopen after being closed for nearly eight years.

“Reopening this campground has been a long time coming, and I am thrilled that we’ve reached this moment,” Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Natalie Phelps Finnie said in a statement.

The campground, which closed after a pump broke in a well that services the area, will officially reopen on Aug. 28 after extensive water testing, just in time for the Labor Day weekend. Reservations can now be made on the INDR's website.

“I have worked tirelessly over the past couple years to get Chippewa campground back open,” State Sen. Patrick Joyce said in a statement. “With persistence and a steady hand, we can get things done, and that is proof of that.”

The impacted well is used for drinking, bathing, cleaning and more at the campground. Workers had to construct a new water-treatment facility on site, and made other improvements to get the site reopened.

The Potawatomi campground at the park had reopened in late 2020 after a brief closure.

The campground, located on Illinois Route 102 just to the west of the Kankakee River State Park’s main entrance, has 98 total campsites, which are available by reservation only, according to a press release.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is seeking a campground host for the site. Interested applicants can call 815-933-1383, or can email park superintendent Stacey Johnson at Stacey.johnson@illinois.gov.

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