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Illinois State Parks

USA Parks
Northern Region
White Pines Forest State Park
White Pines Forest State Park © Harris Wishnick
Cardinal ©
6712 West Pines Road
Mt. Morris, Illinois   61054

Phone: 815-946-3717
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.
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.
White Pines Inn, originally constructed by the Civilian Conversation Corps in the 1930s, has undergone an extensive renovation. To preserve the historic ambiance of this wonderful log cabin inn, the original stone and timbers were retained and the new features were carefully blended to enhance the original structure.

There are 13 one-room cabins and 3 cabins with 4 rooms, for a total of 25 guest rooms. Each cabin sleeps four people and is complete with shower, gas log fireplace, one queen bed and one trundle bed. All cabins are air-conditioned and heated, and have telephones and televisions. The historic lounge area, which is part of the main lodge, is filled with crafts and artwork, includinga gift shop that offers everything from souvenirs to exquisite dolls and homemade candy.

Numerous homemade delicacies are offered at the White Pines Inn Restaurant. The restaurant can accommodate up to 223 people with several meeting/banquet rooms that seat up to 125. Wedding receptions, retreats, seminars and family reunions are all handled professionally and skillfully.For lodge reservations, call (815) 946-3817 or write White Pines Inn, 6712 West Pines Road, Mt. Morris, IL, 61054.
Nearby Accommodations
White Pines Inn - MOUNT MORRIS, IL
Cottages and Cabins
We would like to welcome you to the lodge and cabins at White Pines Inn. Located in Illinois White Pines State Park, there are 385 acres of peace and tranquility waiting for you here, with miles of hiking trails to explore the wonders of nature.
4.2 miles from park*
White Pines Inn - Mt Morris, IL
Cottages 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, IL
BBs / 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.
6.8 miles from park*
Nearby Vacation Rentals
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White Pines Forest State Park is located near Dixon, Rockford and Sterling

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.
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.

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.
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Area Campgrounds
Lake LaDonna
1302 S Harmony Road
Oregon, IL

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.


Illinois State Parks