Moraine View State Recreation Area
Open: Open all year
Number of Sites: 169
Number of Sites with Electric: 137
With fully developed facilities for picnicking, camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, horseback riding and hunting, the 1,687-acre Moraine View State Recreation Area, with its 158-acre lake, is a beautiful, convenient and accessible locale for relaxation and recreation.
For the day visitor, there is ample parking throughout the area and eight picnic areas in shaded spots, with tables and fireplaces. In addition there are five picnic shelters, three available for reservations and two for first-come, first-serve use. There are four playground areas for the kids.
For longer stays, there are 137 Class A trailer campsites with electricity and a sanitary station. Water is available in several locations in the campground. Sixty-one sites can now be reserved in Gander Bay campground. A boat launch and dock is also situated in this area. Alcohol is prohibited in all campgrounds. Reservations are accepted. The shower buildings are closed by November 1st (may be earlier if bad weather) and reopen May 1st (may be earlier - weather depending).
Catfish Bay camp area and Tall Timber backpack trail provide 32 primitive class D sites. Ol' Orchard group camp has two sites able to accommodate 125 people. Timber Ridge group camp has 3 sites. Timberline Ridge horse camp has 30 Class "A" campsites complete with water, electricity, and hitching racks.
A concession stand, located near the boat dock and launch, offers dock and boat rental, fishing tackle, bait, refreshments and various supplies. A restaurant, seating 60, serves breakfast and lunch daily. For information, call (309) 724-8295.
The lake is regularly stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, bullhead, crappie, channel catfish, walleye, yellow perch and northern pike. Whether from the five miles of shoreline or off the handicapped-accessible fishing pier, the angling is always good.
Drifting and bobbing on the glittering expanse of Dawson Lake is one of the site's most popular activities, whether aboard a sailboat or in a motorcraft of 10 horsepower or less. Presently, an idle-speed/no-wake speed limit exists for boat motors over 10 horsepower. There is a two-lane launching ramp and docking facility and boat rentals are available at the concession stand.
The Black Locust picnic area includes a public, sandy beach where swimming is permitted from Memorial Day to Labor Day - closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. No alcohol or pets are allowed on the beach, and swimmers are to remain in the buoyed area. There are no lifeguards. Enjoy yourself, but please be careful.
For invigorating exploration, Moraine View contains a variety of opportunities. The half-mile Tanglewood Self-Guiding Nature Trail winds around the lake finger in a wooded area and will take you within sight of a thriving beaver dam and lodge. Tall Timber Trail, a 1.5-mile backpack and hiking trail over moderate terrain, also provides sites for primitive camping along its course. The Timber Point Handicapped Trail is a half-mile long opportunity for the disabled visitor to enjoy the pleasures of the woods as well.
More than 10 miles of bridle paths on Timberline Ridge Trail wind through most of the area. There is an equestrian campground available and horses also are available at the stables for group trail rides. For more information contact: Double L Outfitters (309) 724-8500 or visit www.LLOutfitters.com
When the season brings sufficient snow, 7 miles of trails are open for cross-country skiing, and the field trial trails accommodate the higher horsepower of snowmobiles. Ice fishing and ice skating are available when the ice is thick enough.
Thirteen hundred acres of this are open to public hunting in season. Moraine View is one of eight sites in Illinois which has nine weeks of controlled pheasant hunting. Please consult the park office for specific information concerning hunting and opening dates for various species.
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