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Castle Rock State Park 'Overlooking River' © Eric Hoffman
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Illinois
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Castle Rock State Park
CASTLE ROCK STATE PARK
CASTLE ROCK STATE PARK
1365 W. Castle Road
Oregon, Illinois   61061

Phone: 815-732-7329
Reservations: 815-732-7329
Email:
Castle Rock State Park
'Overlooking River'

website

Castle Rock State Park is located three miles south of Oregon, Illinois on Highway 2. The park is centrally located in the Rock River Hills region of Illinois, and its rolling topography is drained by the Rock River. The park is located along the west bank of the Rock River in Ogle County. The park is very representative of the Rock River Hills area with rock formations, ravines, and unique northern plant associations. A sandstone bluff, adjacent to the river, has given the park its name.
Nature of the Area
The basis for the acquisition of Castle Rock State Park is the protection of natural resouces that are unique to Illinois. A thin layer of glacial till covers this region and several distinctive plant species, remnants of the native forest and prairie, still exist. In one valley, 27 different types of ferns have been identified. The park is one of the largest significant natural areas in the northern part of Illinois.

Most of the outstanding natural features are located in the dedicated Nature Preserve which is protected by state law. Use of the 710-acre preserve will be restricted to scientific study and limited interpretation activities.
History of the Area
Illinois tribes of native Americans inhabited the region until 1730 when the Sauk and the Fox tribes, who were being forced westward by the colonists, invaded and inhabited the region. The native Americans called the river in the new territory "Sinnissippi," meaning "Rocky waters."

In the early 1800s the native Americans were again forced westward into Iowa. In 1831, Blackhawk, the Sauk chief, led his people in a series of raids back into Illinois to reclaim their ancestral lands. The battles that followed were known as the Blackhawk Indian wars. Chief Blackhawk was captured in 1832 and ordered to a reservation.

The Castle Rock area was settled by New Englanders early in the 19th century. This area was proposed as a state park in 1921 by the "Friends of Our Native Landscape," and they were able to acquire some of the land they described as "a unique wilderness remnant of great natural beauty and scientific interest." In 1964, the Natural Lands Institute, a non-profit natural lands preservation group, conducted a public fundraising campaign to preserve part of the Castle Rock area.

Castle Rock was recognized in the state of Illinois as an outstanding area of major scientific importance in 1965. It was established as a project area, and land acquisition by the State was started in 1970.

At the present time, Castle Rock consists of approximately 2,000 acres, 710 of which are designated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The site was dedicated as a state park in 1978.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Huntingyes
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
CampingElectric Sitesyes
WinterActivitiesyes
Camping
Castle Rock does not have a campground except for a primitive canoe camping area. Access to the area is by canoe or boat only.
Nearby Accommodations
Pinehill Inn - OREGON, ILBBs / Inns
Graceful, romantic and elegant, the highly rated Pinehill Inn Bed and Breakfast beckons you with the feeling you are stepping back in time... the Rock River's most elegant oasis combining modern amenities with historic charm.
Web Site: pinehillbb.com
3.9 miles from park*
White Pines Inn - Mt Morris, ILCottages and Cabins
Located within White Pines Forest State Park in Northwestern Illinois, hidden away in a place that seems like time forgot, discover the historic lodge restaurant, pioneer guest cabins, delightful country gift shop, and entertaining dinner theatre.
6.9 miles from park*
Accommodation Availability Calendars
Boats and RVs
BeachWatch LLC - Loves Park, ILBoat Rentals
Olson Beach located by Rock Cut State Park is a 250 yard long swimming beach located in Rock Cut State Park. General admission is $3. Admission for children under 48 is $2. Boat rentals are $5 for half an hour. Concessions and sand volleyball courts are available. Swim Lessons and Junior Life guarding classes are also available. Olson Beach is open noon to 7pm daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day for the summer swim season. So come let BeachWatch LLC host your water activities in Olson Beach at Rock Cut State Park. For more information call 815-978-5560.
Web Site: beachwatch.net
32 miles from park*


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Nearby Parks


Picnicking
There are three picnic areas available for use with shelters, picnic tables, playground equipment, grills, toilets, and drinking water. There are also scattered tables for use along the river. One of the picnic areas offers a beautiful view over the Rock River Valley. Two of the park's shelters may be reserved with a fee.
Trails
There are six miles of marked hiking trails developed at this time. These trails offer the opportunity to view woodland animals and birds that inhabit the park. The trails' scenic views also offer many chances for the photographers to sharpen their skills. More trails are planned with the park's development. Cross-country skiing and tobogganing are also available when weather permits.
Things To Do in the Area
BeachWatch LLC - Loves Park, ILWater Sports
Olson Beach located by Rock Cut State Park is a 250 yard long swimming beach located in Rock Cut State Park. General admission is $3. Admission for children under 48 is $2. Boat rentals are $5 for half an hour. Concessions and sand volleyball courts are available. Swim Lessons and Junior Life guarding classes are also available. Olson Beach is open noon to 7pm daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day for the summer swim season. So come let BeachWatch LLC host your water activities in Olson Beach at Rock Cut State Park. For more information call 815-978-5560.
Web Site: beachwatch.net
32 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
October 8 Beatiful View
We visited Casle Rock in the fall and stopped at the lookout points on the east side of Rte 2. The views were wonderful with the beautiful fall colors. Just be prepared to walk up a lot of steps, but the view was worth it.


Area Campgrounds

Lake LaDonna
1302 S Harmony Road
Oregon, IL
815-732-6804


Lake Louise Campground
8840 Route 2
Bryon, IL
815-234-8483


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Hickory Hideaway - Shannon, ILCottages and Cabins
More than just lodging, it's home to 12 cabins located on 10 wooded acres just minutes from Lake Carroll approximately 30 minutes from beautiful state parks such as Mississippi Palisades, Lake Le-Aqua- Na, White Pines Forest, Rock Cut, Morrison-Rockwood. A romantic whirlpool cabin with fireplace or country kitchenette can accommodate everything from intimate parties to family reunions. Enjoy our friendly atmosphere beside the bonfire or in our 8-person hot tub.
Web Site: hickoryhideaway.com/
25.7 miles from park*
Savanna - Savanna, ILHotels/Motels
Located just 30 minutes from Galena and 2 hours from Chicago, Savanna is a great place for renewal and regeneration. We invite you to browse through our web-site and plan your getaway today.
Web Site: visitsavanna.com
40.5 miles from park*
Starved Rock Lodge Conference Center - Oglesby, ILHotels/Motels
Relax in the rustic beauty and comfort of Starved Rock Lodge, Cabins and Starved Rock Inn. The historic Lodge has 69 guest rooms, which include three bay-window rooms, plus cabins nestled in the woods. Fireplaces can be found in four of the eight sunset cabins near the pool area...
Web Site: starvedrocklodge.com/
49.6 miles from park*
Area Resources
Savanna - Savanna, ILTourism
Located just 30 minutes from Galena and 2 hours from Chicago, Savanna is a great place for renewal and regeneration. We invite you to browse through our web-site and plan your getaway today.
Web Site: visitsavanna.com
40.5 miles from park*
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Directions
Castle Rock State Park is located on IL Hwy 2, 4 miles south of Oregon, IL., 12 miles north of Dixon, IL.

traveling west from the Chicago area on I-90 to Rockford. At Rockford take I-39 south 20 miles to IL Hwy 64. At Exit 104, turn right at Oregon exit, take Hwy 64 west to Oregon. Turn south on IL Hwy 2 for 4 miles to park.

If traveling west on I-88, take Exit 97 at I-39 at Rochelle. Take I-39 north 7 miles to Hwy 64. Go west on Hwy 64 for 15 miles to Oregon. Take IL Hwy 2 south to the park.

If traveling north on IL Hwy 26 south of Dixon, take Hwy 26 to Dixon. In Dixon, take IL Hwy 2 north 12 miles to the park.

If traveling east on I-88 west of Dixon, take the Dixon exit for IL Hwy 26 north. In Dixon, take IL Hwy 2 north 12 miles to the park.

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Illinois
Region
Castle Rock State Park
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