Shoes drop: DNR announces closure of two state parks

Shoes we’ve been expecting to drop since last autumn came down with a thud on April 20 when DNR announced it was closing a pair of state parks.

The reason: Illinois is in arrears on the light bill.

Couldn’t, can’t, won’t or wouldn’t – the bottom line is that it didn’t pay the bills. And so now Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area and Horseshoe Lake State Park are closed indefinitely. 

“Ramsey Lake is being closed due to termination of electrical service,” DNR spokesman Chris Young explained in an email. “Horseshoe Lake will close due to termination of trash and electrical service. There is no estimate of when either site might reopen.”

At Ramsey Lake, which is located mile northwest of Ramsey in Fayette County, the campgrounds and picnic shelters had already opened for the season. DNR said it will contact campers with reservations to work out other arrangements or refunds.

Horseshoe Lake, located off Highway 111 in Madison County, was set to offer camping beginning May 1, but will not open on that date. DNR said it will contact people with camping and shelter reservations to work out other arrangements or refunds.

“The Department intends to reopen these parks as soon as services are restored,” was the way DNR left things. Just like they were back in October, managers at DNR sites are more hopeful than ever that a state budget deal can get hammered out, allowing dollars to be released and the state’s wildlife and natural areas to remain open.

But here we are at the end of April.

Those “thuds” you heard might be the first of many.


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