Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is 66 acres of upland oak savanna, established in 2016 and open to the public for some recreation opportunities. The refuge strives to protect, restore and manage ecological processes within the Kankakee River Basin, benefiting many species of plants and animals, while also providing high quality wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities for all visitors.

Visit Us

While there are a number of activities for visitors at Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area, the most popular are wildlife watching and hunting for deer and turkey. Visitors may also find photography opportunities in the grasslands and woods.

Location and Contact Information

      For National Wildlife Refuges

      To report a wildlife violation, call 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).

      Our Species

      The riverine wetlands and oak savanna of Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area are home to a variety of resident and migratory wildlife. Black-crowned night herons use the area’s wetlands, rivers and wet agricultural fields as resting and feeding places. Red-headed woodpeckers, rare in most of the midwest today, are more common on the refuge where the insects and nuts they eat are abundant. The regal fritillary, a beautiful bright red-orange and black butterfly, is often found in the refuge’s larger open grasslands, wet fields, remnant tallgrass prairie, damp meadows and marshes.