Illinois residents will soon be allowed to enjoy select outdoor activities at several state parks, recreation areas and trails, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
At Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the extension of the statewide stay-at-home order until May 30 with a few alterations.
One of those changes was to allow select outdoor areas to reopen so long as social distancing and other measures are practiced by those who wish to enjoy the outdoors.
“We will begin a phased reopening of some of our state parks, under the guidance of the Department of Natural Resources for activities, such as hiking and fishing and boating with no more than two people. Social distancing must be maintained in all activities,” Pritzker announced.
Visitors will be allowed to engage in activities like wildlife observation, hiking, biking, equestrian use, fishing and mushroom collecting. However, site visitor centers, campgrounds and concessions will be closed and there will be no reservations or special events allowed.
According to the IDNR, the sites that will reopen May 1 are:
Region 1 (Northwest Illinois): Argyle Lake State Park, Jubilee College State Park, Lowden State Park, Morrison-Rockwood State Park, Rock Island Trail, Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area.
Region 2 (Northeastern Illinois): Chain O’ Lakes State Park, Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail, Kankakee River State Park, Moraine Hills State Park, North Point Marina.
Region 3 (East Central Illinois): Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, Eagle Creek State Park, Kickapoo State Recreation Area, Wolf Creek State Park.
Region 4 (West Central Illinois): Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, Sangchris Lake State Park, Siloam Springs State Park, Washington County State Recreation Area.
Region 5 (Southern Illinois): Fort Massac State Park, Giant City State Park, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area, Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area.
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The IDNR recommends visitors to travel with alcohol-based hand sanitizer and face coverings as well as follow other health and safety measures like social distancing.
The sites will be open daily from sunrise to sunset.