Chester, Illinois - Home of Popeye

Parks / Recreation


Recreation Director Patti Carter
Park & Recreation Board

Located at Chester City Hall / 1330 Swanwick Street / 618-826-1430

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PARK AND RECREATION INFORMATION:  The City of Chester has several community parks.  Cole Memorial Park is on Opdyke Street or Route 3 South. The park was home to the Chester Municipal Swimming Pool (the pool is now closed indefinitely) along with a multi purpose field, numerous shelter houses, play areas and a nature trail.  As of January 2018 Camping (self sufficient) is now available!!  Click here to learn more about camping and links to other types of camping nearby.   A 9-hole  Disc Golf course  was installed Spring of 2021 throughout the Cole Park.  Look for more exciting things/projects coming to Cole Park!

At the “three-way stop” of Opdyke Street and State Street sits our Chester Square Gazebo Park which includes the Wimpy Statue and holds art and music events throughout the year.  The Cohen Recreational Complex, which is a large sports complex that contains two baseball diamonds and two softball diamonds, a small ball diamond, concessions, walking/exercise path with fitness stations, tennis courts, a multi-purpose field (soccer), parking and picnic areas. Located on Route 3 just a little North of Chester just off Bodes Lane.  (GPS address is 3402 Bodes Lane)  Shelter house reservations are now available at all our parks!  Click here for reservation information.  Check the Recreation Calendar tab above to see if a shelter is available or call Patti at 618-826-1430.

The Chester Riverfront offers a boat ramp for those who enjoy taking a scenic boat ride on the mighty Mississippi River.  Or stop and have lunch on the Riverfront and watch the barges and trains go by as they make their daily trips to deliver goods.  Usually starting in June/July large Riverboats such as American Queen, Queen of the Mississippi and many more make tour stops in Chester.  Click here for a schedule of stops!

Our newest park is the Chester Memorial Park located at the intersection of Opdyke Street and State Street.   A memorial monument stands in the park in honor of our fallen Officer James I. Brockmeyer.  Phase 1 was completed in October 2017.

Enjoy listening to the Chester Municipal Band during the summer months in Chester.

Chester Country Club is a beautiful semi-private nine-hole golf course. For more information call 618-826-3168. (This golf course is not owned by the city of Chester.)

The Breezy Hill Flying Model Airplane Complex located across the highway from the Cohen Recreation Complex on Route 3 North.

Chester also has numerous historical sites in the area which are within driving distance.  Take in the view of the Mississippi River on Cohen Memorial Home huge front porch!  The Cohen Home is available to rent for parties, weddings, etc. Call 618-615-1548 for more info .  Or enjoy reading a book at our Chester Public Library   Lots of planned activities for the kids here!

Not far from Chester is the Randolph County State Recreation Area – Fishing, hiking, picnicking, boating, hunting and camping are just a few of the choices, keeping even the most outdoorsman content on 1,101 acres. Located five miles north east of Chester in Randolph County, it lies in the rolling hill country of Southern Illinois. Offering a cool retreat from hot summer days, well shaded picnic areas, hiking trails and scenic forest stands await park visitors.

If you need any information in regard to our parks and/or any activities that take place in Chester, please contact Recreation Director – Patti Carter at 618-826-1430.

Community Activities:

Listed below are some activities that are offered to the community through the City of Chester. Contact Patti Carter at 826-1430 for more information.  Also check the community events page to find out more community activities going on in Chester.

Farmer’s Market: Held every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until sold out at the Hardee’s Parking Lot usually from mid May until October.  Click here for page.

Annual Spring Fling / Easter Egg Hunt TBA

Chester Recreational Ball  (Toddler T-Ball, T-Ball, Pony League Softball & Baseball & Umpire Clinic):  SEE CHESTER REC BALL PAGE

Citywide Yard Sale:  Usually held first Saturday in June, then follows the Citywide clean up days!

American Legion Baseball & Junior Legion:  Late May through July. Games are played at the Cohen Complex Fields #1 & #2.   TBA

Fall Soccer:  Held on Sundays in September. TBA

Trick Or Treat in Chester, IL:  Always held on October 31, unless otherwise indicated.  From 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Popeye’s Fall Festival:  Held in October.  Click here for page

Chester’s Annual Christmas on the River:  Always held the first full weekend in December on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Click here for page.

River Ratz Cycling, Inc.  or International Mountain Bicycling Association 

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