WALNUT POINT STATE PARK
With its woods, water and wildlife, Walnut Point State Park in east-central Illinois has it all - from fishing, hunting and camping to hiking, picnicking and cross-country skiing. Conveniently located within a few miles of Interstate 57, U.S. Highway 36 and Illinois Route 133, the 631-acre site is 20 miles northeast of Charleston.
Although Walnut Point has numberous, developed recreational facilities, it sill maintains many of its orignal natural features and attributes. Ash, oak, hickory, maple, walnut, locust and sassafras trees dominat the prk's extensive wooded acres. The park features tow winding and scenic tree-lined drives for motor vehicles. The roadsides are especially beautiful in the Spring when the redbuds and wildflowers bloom, while fall foliage colors are varied and spectuacular. In addition, the park is home to a prairie restoration plot and a 65-acre nature preserve, Upper Embarras Woods.
Within the park are many mamals, amphibians and reptiles. Bird watchers will find good viewing for several different species of songbirds, owls and raptors. Wood ducks, herons and Canada geese also can be seen on and along the lake. Because of its natural diversity and viewing opportunities, Walnut Point is among the sites featured in the "Illinois Wildlife and Nature Viewing Guide."
The 59-acre, multi-fingered Walnut Point Lake is the focal point of the park. It is stream fed and formed by an earthen dam located on the lake's Southern shore. The lake has a maximum average depth of 12.5 feet and 6.3 miles of shoreline.
Except for electric trolling motors, boat motors are not allowed. Swimming is not permitted.
Walnut Point was named for Douglas County's first pioneer settlement. No longer in existence, the community was established in the 1830's about 2 miles from the park site. The park opened in 1968 and is managed by the Department of Natural Resources.
A concession is operated from April through October for visitor convenience. Items and services include food, ice cream, drinks, ice, bait, firewood and boat rental. The concession phone number is (217) 346-3281.
Several types of camping are offered at Walnut Point State Park. "Class A" camping areas offer campers use of electric hook-ups and a shower building with flush toilets. In addition, "Class C" walk-in tent camping areas and a group camping area (youth and adult) are available. Drinking water and a sanitary dump station are provided. During cold weather, camp facilities are subject to closure. Campers are reminded they are required to have their primary camping unit with them before they can occupy a site and obtain a permit.
Currently, all Class "A and C" campsites are available for reservation. The group camping area and two large picnic shelters are also reservable. Please contact the park office for current information and specific details.