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Parks and Recreation

Frequently asked questions

1. I would like to use a photo from your website in a publication, who do I need to ask for permission?

All photos on the IDNR website must be purchased through the Office of Public Services. The cost is $10 per picture. Please call (217) 557-5292.

2. What permits do I need to bring my horse to the Parks if I am from Out-of-State?

Any out of state horse or any horse that has been out of state for more than 30 days must get an entry permit number from the Department of Agriculture to list on the animal's health certificate before the horse can be unloaded in this state. More information is available from the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health (217) 782-4944).

3. I am interested in a career in State Parks. Where can I search for job opportunities?

Central Management Services (CMS) is the hiring agency for the Dept. of Natural Resources. To check for available job openings, please see the CMS website. There are also volunteer positions available.

4. Which parks have alcohol bans?

There are several sites with alcohol bans in place. These bans can be a complete ban for the whole park or bans in specific areas like shelters or campgrounds. Some bans are in effect on a seasonal basis. It is recommended to call the site you are interested in for details on site specific alcohol bans. Alcohol Restriction Page

5. Do Illinois State Parks require a daily or annual entrance fee?

No. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources does not charge an Entrance Fee to any state owned or operated land with the exception of Wildlife Prairie Park and sites with beaches. Beaches charge a $1 a day per person for beach use only.

6. Can I bring my dog to a state park?

Pets are allowed as long as they are leashed at all times. Please review our policy on pets Section 110.30. Pets are not allowed in campground cabins, however.

7. Where can I camp?

Whether you are camping with a tent or with all the amenities of home, camping in Illinois is easy when you refer to the camping homepage.

8. How much does it cost to camp?

Refer to Daily Camping Fee Schedule. This schedule outlines fee structures and discount available.

9. Can I reserve a campsite?

There are 32 sites that accept campsite reservations. Refer to Campsite Reservation program for an application and additional information. On-line reservations are not available.

10. I am planning a family reunion, where can I go?

Whether you are planning a simple picnic or a long weekend, there are several areas in Illinois that can accommodate your family reunion. Several parks offer Shelter Reservations or Lodges for overnight accommodations.

11. Can I use my ATV on state parks?

All Terrain Vehicles are prohibited on state owned or operated properties. You must obtain permission from a private land owner for use of their land. Follow this link for additional information.

12. Where can I use my Mountain Bike?

Many State sites offer biking and mountain biking opportunities. The biking site can give you more information about each.

13. Where can I rock climb?

There are three recreation areas that allow rock climbing. Please review our rock climbing Site.

14. Where can I use my metal detector on public lands?

Not all sites allow metal detecting to protect significant cultural or natural resources. Those that do, require permits that can be obtained at the park office. If there is a specific park that you want to metal detect at, please call the site first.

15. Where can I write for more information and have brochures of Illinois State Parks mailed to me?

Write: IDNR Clearinghouse, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1787 or call 217/782-7498, TDD 217/782-9175, FAX 217/782-9552.

16. I have a question not covered here.

I have a question not covered here.