Minooka Park expands schedule to five days

Published 11:22 pm Monday, June 22, 2009

After about 15 months of operation, Minooka Park is extending its hours from three to five days per week.

Starting Wednesday, June 24, the ATV wilderness park will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The park was previously open from Friday through Sunday.

“School’s out. This will give people more opportunities to come to the park,” Park Manager Gerald Arrington said.

While the park charges admission for using its ATV and dirt bike trails and for fishing, visitors can hike and picnic for free. Fishing equipment is also available for a day’s rental at no cost.

Arrington said park traffic has increased significantly in the summer months.

“We’ve had a lot of people fishing and picnicking,” he said. “We have had pretty good traffic of ATV and dirt bike riders.”

Arrington expects to hear from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources soon regarding the park’s fishing regulations. Currently, all fishing at Minooka is catch and release, but that could change soon.

“Based on the number of bass that’s being caught, I would think they would want us to start taking some out,” Arrington said.

Construction on a new system of horseback riding trails is about 80 percent complete, and the park now has three quarters of a mile of a hiking trail that connects to the existing trail around the 9-acre lake.

Arrington said the longevity of the new operating hours will depend on demand.

“If we still have good traffic during the week, we will remain open,” he said.