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White Pines Forest State Park '' © Harris Wishnick
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USA Parks
Illinois
Northern Region
White Pines Forest State Park
WHITE PINES FOREST STATE PARK
WHITE PINES FOREST STATE PARK
6712 West Pines Road
Mt. Morris, Illinois   61054

Phone: 815-946-3717
Email:
White Pines Forest State Park

Located in the heart of the Rock River valley, this charming 385-acre park is the south boundary of the old Chicago-Iowa Trail. History tells us that this was for years the principal route east and west across the northern part of the state.

Today the park provides the perfect recipe for family getaways. There are plenty of outdoor recreation activities, such as hiking, fishing, camping and picnicking. With lots of serene, picturesque beauty, and modern lodge facilities amidst a beautiful forest, there is no better way to retreat from the everyday routine than to re-discover yourself and your family among the open spaces at White Pines.

Along the meandering banks of Spring and Pine creeks, this scenic haven has magnificent trees that share moss-covered cliffs, strung with trailing vines. In season, colorful beds of blossoming trout lily, solomons seal, bloodroot, blue-eyed grass, spring beauty and hepatica are everywhere.

Small mammals, including red squirrels, raccoons and chipmunks, thrive in the luxuriant undergrowth, and the spreading branches above are filled with pine thrush, warblers and, in winter, flocks of migratory northern birds.

Among the park's most interesting features are the concrete fords that span the creeks, allowing the visitor, quite literally, to drive through the flowing streams.
History of the Area
White Pines Forest lies in the heart of Black Hawk Indian country and is rich in historic accounts of the warriors who resisted the efforts of settlers to drive them from the beloved Rock River valley. Eventually, however, the Black Hawk War forced them out and Chief Black Hawk himself was sent into exile in the custody of his rival, Keokuk.

When early settlers arrived, they found this 700-acre forest of untouched pine extending for 1/4 mile along the east bank of Pine Creek.

With a view to preserving Illinois' last stand of natural white pines and the most southern stand of white pines in the United States, a movement was started in the early part of the 20th Century to set the area aside as a state park. Through efforts of Ogle County nature lovers, a bill appropriating $30,000 for purchase of land was passed by the legislature in 1903, but the measure was vetoed. In 1927, however, they had more success, and the forest was acquired.
Camping
Looking to spend a night under the stars? White Pines State Park has 103 Class B/S campsites with vehicular access, Class C camping and, in addition, there are two youth group campgrounds. There are six campsites accessible for the physically challenged camper. Because of the nature of the terrain in this area, soft ground and high water may sometimes close campgrounds. It's a good idea to check ahead with the site superintendent's office to be sure the facilities are open. Reservations for camping are no longer being taken. Contact the park or visit the web site for more information.
Nearby Accommodations
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.
4.3 miles from park*
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
6.8 miles from park*
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
33.6 miles from park*


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Picnicking
A perfect place for a family outing, there are several shaded picnic areas along Pine Creek with water, fireplaces, tables and children's playgrounds. Of the four shelters in these areas, two can be reserved and two are first-come, first-served.
Trails
Whether you choose an easy walking trail or a more difficult path, three of the seven marked trails are less than a mile long and provide ample opportunity to see the beautiful vine-covered limestone bluffs, blossoming spring flowers and whispering pines. The trails have color-coded markers to aid the hiker in orienteering. A nature trail with a limestone-screened path is accessible for the physically challenged.
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
33.6 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 7 Absolutely Beautiful by Denise
We are from Pennsylvania and enjoyed a couple of days at White Pines this past weekend. The trails were beautiful and teeming with life! The forest floor covered in purple and white flowers. It was very peaceful. The cabins are quaint and authentic log cabins. We had alot of fun searching for fire wood in the forest and our fire burned for hours on end. All in all a great time.
April 5 Visually stunning! by Hikes with Dog
Great place for day hikers of all levels. Pet friendly. Trails are very well marked. Trails are short. However, scenery is breathtaking and changes with each trail. Trails range form medium to hard. Best time to go is during the week when it may not be crowded.
September 22 Most Colorful Season by MALIII
Was there for the BAMBA Camp Out with friends hiked all day and slept as we have never in our lives from the wonderful clear air and pine trees surrounding the area. Cooked our meals and had a wonderful time telling stories as the sun set in the evening. Hated to leave such a wonderful area and look forward to returning with new friends and family, of course, other than Bill and The Chipmonks.
May 24 by Ola
It was wonderful!!! But beware of racoons, at nighttime, when you are enjoying majestic flames and fairy crackles of the fire they are alert and in search of something to eat around or even in your own tent ;)
May 15 Once in a life time to take a hike by Stewart M Grant
Out of this world
May 9 It is my favorite place by Noah
I love white pines state park there is much to do there, fish, explore, hike, wonderfull meals at the lodge, and just to relax and take it easy. why travel any farther.
May 29 Favorite camping site by Allan
This is a special and unique park. The park is surounded by lime stone bluffs and has ample and well maintainted camping grounds. Trails within the park of wide variety and several of the trails sport stepping stones to cross streams. Even to get to the camping site you drive through a small ford in a river. Lastly, at the main lodge they have a great and inexpensive buffet.
September 5 Many childhood memories by snoflakeiam1950@aol.com
I am 57 years old and spent many happy days and nights visiting this wonderful park with my family and friend! We live/ed in Aurora, IL and White Pines is the place of some of my favorite family memories. I visited it again in mid-August and am hoping to have a family gettogether there soon!
July 8 NICE PLACE by BRIAN
I HAVE MOVED TO FLORIDA , BUT WENT BACK TO THE AREA, IT IS WONDERFUL
May 23 Best of the best parks by Steve Guziec
My grandfather took my uncles and father to White Pines, my father took my brothers and me here, and I plan on taking my children to White Pines. The ground here is like sleeping on air and the smells of white pines lull you to sleep. On Sunday mornings you wish it was Friday because you don't want to leave. The bathrooms are always spotless and the rangers are like a next door neighbor. I love this place!!!! THANK YOU WHITE PINES!!!


Area Campgrounds

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


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Blue Bed Breakfast - Savanna, ILBBs / Inns
Located downtown Main Street in historic Savanna, Illinois, has three lovely and comfortable guest rooms decorated in a vintage decor, where sleep comes easy on plush beds. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the Mississippi River from tiered decking.
Web Site: bluebedandbreakfast.com
36 miles from park*
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/
21.2 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/
52.9 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
36 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
36 miles from park*
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Directions
To reach White Pines Forest State Park from the Chicago Area, take Route 64 (North Avenue) west to Route 2 south in Oregon, turn left on Route 2 to Pines Road. At Pines Road, turn right and follow the signs to the park entrance, approximately 8 miles.

From the Northwest suburbs, take I-90 west to Route 20 at Rockford. Take Route 20 west to Route 2 south. You will go through Byron and continue to Oregon. In Oregon, continue to the south edge of town to Pines Road. Turn right on Pines Road and follow the signs to the Park entrance, a distance of about8 miles.

From the north or south, take I-39 to the Oregon exit (Route 64). take Route 64 west to Oregon. You will turn left at Route 2 and continue to Pines Road. Turn right on Pines Road and go about 8 miles to the park entrance.

If you are coming from eastern or western Illinois, take Toll Road IL RT 88 to the Dixon exit (Route 26). Take Route 26 north through Dixon to Lowell Park Road. Turn right and go about 11 miles to the stop sign which is Pines Road. Turn right on Pines Road and go about one mile to the park entrance.

USA Parks
Illinois
Northern Region
White Pines Forest State Park
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