SILOAM SPRINGS STATE PARK
Nature's bounty has conspired to produce a natural beauty and source of recreation greatly prized by generations of Midwesterners at Siloam Springs State Park, just minutes east of Quincy.
The beautifully wooded terrain, sparkling lake, and carefully maintained facilities make this 3,323 acre site one of the most beautiful parks in Illinois. It's an ideal setting for outdoor visits, whether your interest is hunting, fishing, camping, boating, picnicking, hiking or bird watching. The park is surrounded by luxuriantly forested gullies and scenic crests alive with wild roses, black-eyed Susans, white false indigo and snapdragons.
Originally part of the "military tract" of western Illinois (land set aside to be given to combat veterans), the area was acquired in 1852 by George Meyers for his service in the Black Hawk and Mexican wars. He died in 1882 at the age of 102. Legend has it that spring water in the area had a medicinal effect, thus the name Siloam Springs from a Biblical reference, so-called by the Rev. Reuben K. McCoy, who had discovered the springs following the Civil War.
After Meyers' death, Quincy Burgesser, a local businessman and stock dealer, became aware of the springs and their "curative value." He had the water analyzed and discovered it had more "strength" (a higher mineral content) than water from the famous Eureka and Waukesha springs.
Burgesser touted the water's ability to cure almost all ailments, even drunkenness and drug addiction. By 1884 he had erected two spring houses, a bathing house and the Siloam Forest Home Hotel, and the area became a popular and fashionable resort. Water from the No. 2 spring was bottled and distributed as far west as Kansas City and bottling became a flourishing business for several decades.
In 1935, the Siloam Springs Recreation Club purchased the site in an effort to restore it and provide a place of recreation for the local population. Citizens of Adams and Brown counties raised money to match state funds and by 1940 an agreement was reached to make it a state recreation area. Eventually, the old hotel and bath houses were torn down, the swimming pool abandoned and the springs no longer were used. The No. 2 spring house was rebuilt in 1995 and contains the most popular spring.
In 1954 and 1955, an earthen dam was constructed across a deep ravine and the 58-acre lake was created. In 1956 Siloam Springs was dedicated as a state park, and efforts began to develop its recreational facilities.
Boat and Canoe rentals, a variety of bait and tackle, snack foods, soda and sandwiches are available on a seasonal basis from the concession stand by the lake, phone 217-894-6271.
If you want to spend a night or two under the stars, there are 98 Class A camp sites featuring rest rooms, showers and electricity, 84 Class B camp sites featuring showers and rest rooms, and four backpack camp sites, in addition to a special group campground. There is a centrally located shower facility available to all campers. Campsite Reservations are NOT accepted.
Horse Trails and Equestrian Camping:
The park contains equestrian trails totaling 23 miles, covering ridgetops and steep wooded valleys. There is a separate camping area for riders and their mounts, with water and limited electricity. Horse rentals are not available.