Vermilion River (Illinois River)

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Vermilion River
Origin Confluence of the North Fork and South Fork, Avoca Township, Livingston County, Illinois
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Mouth Confluence with the Illinois River, Oglesby, Illinois
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Progression Vermilion River → Illinois → Mississippi → Gulf of Mexico
Length 75 mi (121 km)
Mouth elevation 449 ft (137 m)
GNIS ID 424127

The Vermilion River is a 74.8-mile-long (120.4 km)[1] tributary of the Illinois River in the state of Illinois, United States.[2] The river flows north, in contrast to a second Vermilion River in Illinois, which flows south to the Wabash River. The Illinois and Wabash rivers each have a tributary named the Little Vermilion River as well.

The north-flowing Vermilion River and the south-flowing Middle Fork Vermilion River run on what is close to a straight line between Oglesby and Danville. In presettlement times, the two rivers drained an upland marsh near Roberts. It is possible that early settlers regarded these as a single river that flowed in two directions. It is also possible that, in early settlement times, these rivers formed a canoe route between the Illinois River and Wabash River, with a portage through the marshes near Roberts. This may explain why the two rivers have the same name.

The north-flowing Vermilion flows in a northerly direction from its origin in Livingston and Ford counties in north central Illinois, eventually emptying into the Illinois River, near Oglesby. Perhaps it is best known for its stretch of whitewater between Lowell and Oglesby, Illinois, which is one of few found in Illinois.

Access to a stretch of river around a dam owned by Buzzi Unicem was temporarily barred in 2009, after two drowning deaths that occurred on June 23 and 26 respectively, as well as numerous other boating accidents. The river access was reopened in 2010.[3]

Cities and towns

The following cities and towns are drained by the Vermilion:


The following counties are drained at least in part by the Vermilion River:

Parks and access points

See also


  1. U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 13, 2011
  2. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Vermilion River
  3. "IDNR, Buzzi Unicem USA Agree to Open Vermilion River Stretch in LaSalle County" (PDF). Illinois Department of Natural Resources. November 29, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links