Hike Through Illinois’ Kankakee River State Park, Then Dine At Jimmy Jo’s BBQ
Here in the Land of Lincoln, we like outdoor adventures in nature, and good food too. You will have a most invigorating outing on this ultimate hiking and dining day trip in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Spend the day hiking at Kankakee River State Park to work up an appetite, and then have some nourishment at Jimmy Jo’s BBQ. What a winning combination!
The 4,000-acre Kankakee River State Park is a good place for hiking, as well as biking, horseback riding, fishing, boating, and even camping.
Visit the old Smith Cemetery, and cross the suspension bridge. View the exhibits, and live critters, at the Visitor Center.
The out and back Kankakee River Trail, rated as easy, allows you to walk up to 10 miles in one direction, or as far as you want to go - next to the Kankakee River.
Just remember that if you hike 10 miles out, it is 10 miles back as well! It’s hard to beat spending time alongside a beautiful river on a sunny day. Bring a canoe, or rent one, for more fun in the river.
Hike the easy 3-mile Rock Creek Trail where you will encounter a small waterfall, and a cave.
The featured Horse Thief Cave, and waterfall, on the Rock Creek Trail, are not perhaps what most people would consider grandiose, but they are most decidedly intriguing.
Admire the limestone canyon, and take the little offshoot trails for nice views of the creek along the way.
Note that there can be steep drop offs at the end of the offshoot trails, in case you have kids running ahead. When the wildflowers are in full bloom, it is an extra-special day.
Bring your cute canine companion and stop for photo ops!
Add two extra miles to your loop when you include the Chief Shaw Trail, which connects to the Rock Creek Trail. On the Chief Shaw Trail, look for the memorial to the chief, a large inscribed boulder.
After hiking through Kankakee River State Park, stop at Jimmy Jo’s BBQ, for a mouthwatering meal - approximately a 10-minute drive from the park.
Have your holiday meals catered by Jimmy Jo’s – Mother’s Day, Easter, or Thanksgiving to name a few.
Try the ribs, brisket, pork, or turkey breast. Get the giant baked potato or maybe some glazed carrots – they do have a side salad too.
Take this ultimate hike and dine day trip right here in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Get some fresh air and exercise at Kankakee River State Park, and then be rewarded for your efforts at Jimmy Jo’s BBQ. For trail maps and more details about the park, visit the
Kankakee River State Park website and Facebook page. For specials and a menu, visit the Jimmy Jo’s BBQ website and Facebook page.
Have you hiked at Kankakee River State Park and dined at Jimmy Jo’s BBQ? Share your thoughts with us!
Read our other articles to learn more about the
suspension bridge at Kankakee River State Park and for a list of state parks in Illinois that will knock your socks off.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Kankakee River State Park, 5314 IL-102, Bourbonnais, IL 60914, USA
Jimmy Jo's BBQ, 665 N Convent St, Bourbonnais, IL 60914, USA