Calendar | Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County

Illinoisans invited to spend long weekend in state parks          Send a link to a friend

Weekend tourists boost state economy

[MAY 20, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois residents making plans for the Memorial Day weekend are encouraged to consider visiting Illinois state parks. Some parks will offer expanded hours and programs for the weekend. The schedule adjustments are occurring as the Travel Industry Association of America reports more Americans are taking shorter vacations closer to home, instead of longer vacations to exotic destinations.

"That weekend is the unofficial start of summer," said Joel Brunsvold, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "With more than 300 parks and natural areas statewide, I'd like to invite all Illinois residents to come to one and have fun."

While a few Department of Natural Resources offices and facilities traditionally are not open on Mondays, most will be open on Memorial Day to accommodate those who want to visit.

"This is an opportunity for not just Illinois state parks but the communities close by to benefit from tourist dollars," said Brunsvold. "When people go to the parks, they often stop at nearby towns first to buy everything from groceries to fishing bait."

For more information on Illinois state parks, visit

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The following parks will have expanded hours for the Memorial Day holiday:

  • Cache River Natural Area, Henry H. Barkhausen visitor center -- open May 27-30
  • Illinois Beach State Park, Camp Logan -- open until 8 p.m. May 30.
  • Tunnel Hill State Trail visitor center -- open May 30
  • Beaches at Lake Le-Aqua-Na and Rock Cut -- open starting May 28.
  • Mazonia-Braidwood Lake -- open May 30
  • Hennepin Canal State Trail and visitor center -- open
  • Heidecke Lake -- open for fishing

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources news release]

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