Jubilee College State Park
Jubilee College State Park is a 3,200-acre facility, located in Peoria County between the towns of Kickapoo and Brimfield, just off U.S. Route 150. This scenic area, with its rolling topography and meandering Jubilee Creek, offers various outdoor recreational opportunities.
Named Jubilee College by its founder, Episcopal Bishop Philander Chase in 1839, in expression of his thankfulness and joy, the college was one of the earliest educational enterprises in Illinois. Through a series of misfortunes climaxed by the Bishop's death, the college closed in 1862. In 1933 the college and grounds, consisting of 93 acres, were presented to the state of Illinois. Since that time the Department of Natural Resources increased the acreage to 3,200. The college building, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, has been restored to its original appearance and is under the management of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Jubilee is situated in the Illinoisan drift-plain, and is deeply eroded into many complex valley systems, from near-level ridgetops and floodplains to steep slope ravines. Bedrock exposures are numerous and include shale, sandstone, limestone and coal. The highest elevation is 660 feet. The topography and Jubilee Creek constitute an aesthetically pleasing environment for outdoor recreation activities, and provide habitat for numerous wildlife and fish species. Visitors may see deer, rabbits, squirrel, fox, coyote and raccoon throughout the forests, while the creek may offer glimpses of mink, muskrat and beaver. Over 160 species of birds are present, and wild turkeys, stocked in 1988, call Jubilee home.
Jubilee Creek is a tributary to Kickapoo Creek that passes through the park from northwest to southeast. It is characterized by deep pools and fast riffles. The average width is 40 feet and average depth is four inches. Fish species of interest to anglers include smallmouth bass, bluegill, catfish and carp. Swimming is prohibited in the creek.
The park is popular with mountain biking enthusiasts. Contact the park for more information about mountain biking trails.
Campground facilities, open from April 15 - November 1, accommodate recreational vehicles or tents and include a shower building with flush toilets, a trailer dump station, graveled pads, and grills, water hydrants and primitive toilets. Campsites are Class A electric and Class C w/showers. Groups are welcome. Permits are required and can be obtained from the site staff or campground host. Winter camping is available in the main camping area, Coyote Cove loop is open with Class B sites with electric, and primitive privies. No running water is available. For reservations for any of the campsites go to http://www.reserveamerica.com/.
Limited fishing is available in Jubilee Creek and in two ponds, one of which is stocked yearly. Vehicular access is not available.
Hiking trails may be available; please contact park services for more information.
Tours may be available; please contact park services for more information.
An equestrian camping area is located at the north end of the park.Over forty five miles of multi-use trails originate from the camping area. Horse rentals are not available. The area includes drinking water, toilet facilities, a shelter house, picnic tables, grills and a pay phone. Campsites are Class B/S ($10). Overnight campers must self register at the self pay station or check in with teh campground host located in the equestrian campground.
Approximately 2900 acres are available for hunting. Hunters are required to register at either of the two check stations. Turkey hunting is bow and arrow only, although shotgun can be used for other game. Contact the park office for information and species, hunting times and dates
Several large picnic areas are located throughout the park's interior. Each area includes a shelter with electricity, picnic tables, charcoal grills, playground equipment, water hydrants and toilet facilities. Winter picnicking is permitted but some areas are closed.
Campgrounds accommodate recreational vehicles.
The rolling terrain provides an excellent opportunity for sledding and cross-country skiing. Several miles of trails are marked and groomed for skiing when the snowfall is sufficient. Snowmobiling is permitted on marked portions of equestrian trails during the daylight hours, when there is a four-inch snow base.
Jubilee College State Park can be reached from I-74.
Eastbound: Brimfield Exit #75, left to US Rte 150. Then turn right on US Rte 150 and go 4 miles to park entrance on left.
Westbound: Kickapoo-Edwards Exit #82, right 1.5 miles to Kickapoo. Then left onto US Rte 150 for 4 miles to park entrance on right.