Campers face new fees

Expect a few changes in Forest Service day-use areas and campgrounds if you head to the Illinois Valley for some outdoor recreation this Memorial Day weekend.

This year, the agency is charging a $10 fee at the Six Mile, River Bench, Store Gulch and Little Falls campgrounds. Proceeds from the charges will be used to clean up and maintain these popular campgrounds along the river.

Public donations will be accepted at the Six Mile day-use area to benefit the site.

Campgrounds where there is no charge include Josephine, Echo, Illinois River Trailhead, Snailback and Horn Bend.

Campfire restrictions are now in effect in the area as well. Campfires in all areas must be in designated Forest Service fire rings. All campfires from the forest boundary to the turnoff at McCaleb Ranch must also be confined by designated fire rings. If there is no campfire ring, then a fire is not allowed.

All parking must be within designated parking areas or off the road. Vehicles must be parked inside white lines along the Illinois River Road or in a designated parking spot at a Forest Service campground or day-use area.

— Paul Fattig

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