Walnut Point State Park
Open: Open all year
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 671-acre site is 20 miles northeast of Charleston.
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.
Eight wooded picnic areas bordering the lake offer picnic tables, outdoor grills and privies with designated parking areas close by. There are 5 large shelters for groups, eight large tables with protective roofs, 2 sets of playground equipment and 3 horseshoe pits. Drinking water is available. Firewood is not provided but is available at the concession.
Hiking and nature-study enthusiasts will find 2.25 miles of trails weaving through the timber. By using the main park road and the Gray Squirrel-Twin Points connection trail, walkers and joggers can complete a 3-mile exercise loop. All trails are restricted to foot traffic only. The Lakeside Nature Trail (.5 mile) is handicapped accessible.
With its many fingerlike coves, Walnut Point Lake provides a beautiful setting for an angler to enjoy a quality fishing experience.
Anglers can try their luck either on the lake - which supports largemouth bass, black crappie, channel catfish, redear sunfish, bluegill and brown bullhead - or along the banks of the Embarras River. Floating docks, fixed piers and two single-lane boat launches are provided for lake access. Anglers are restricted to pole-and-line fishing only.
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. The shower buildings are closed by November 1st (may be earlier if bad weather) and reopen May 1st (may be earlier - weather depending).
Currently, all Class "A and C" campsites are available for reservation. The group camping area and two large picnic shelters are also reservable.
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