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.
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.
Although Walnut Point has numerous, developed
recreational facilities, it still maintains many of its original natural
features and attributes. Ash, oak, hickory, maple, walnut, locust and
sassafras trees dominate the park's extensive wooded acres. The park features
two 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 spectacular. 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 mammals, 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.
Picnicking | Picnicking Pamphlet
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 | Hiking Pamphlet
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
Fishing | Fishing Pamphlet
With its many fingerlike coves, Walnut Point
Lake provides a beautiful setting for an angler to enjoy a quality fishing
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.
Camping | Camping Pamphlet
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
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. Reservations can be made through the Reserve America website at www.reserveamerica.com. Please contact the park office
for current information and specific details or view the Reservations website.The group camping area and two
large picnic shelters are also reservable.
PLEASE NOTE: Fox Tent, Gray Tent and Group
Camp are "Alcohol Free" camping
Ice fishing and ice skating, both "at
your own risk" activities, are permitted on the lake when the ice
is thick enough. Ample area also is available for cross-country skiing.
Archery deer, squirrel and limited raccoon hunting are permitted. Hunters can contact the park office for current information or review the on-line Hunter Fact Sheets. Walnut Point Hunter Fact Sheet | Willow Creek Hunter Fact Sheet | Hindsboro Pheasant Habitat Area
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 217-346-2170, or visit shadybayconcession.com
Accessible and barrier free facilities are
available for use throughout the park.
Programs designed to help visitors better
appreciate the site's natural resources are provided on a seasonal basis.
Contact the park office for more information and specific details.
The Surrounding Area
Other attractions in the surrounding area of Walnut Point would be the Norton Knolls Golf Course in Oakland appoximately 3 miles from the park; the Olde Barn Sporting Clays in Oakland, appoximately 5 miles from park; and the Oakland Community Swimming Pool, appoximatley 3 miles from the park.
Walnut Point State Park is located 20 miles
northeast of Charleston and 3 miles north of Oakland. Interstate 57, US
route 36, and state route 133 are three major access highways in close
proximity to the park.
- While groups of 25 or
more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required
to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling
- At least one responsible
adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on
leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can
result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park
office before you make your trip.
- We hope you enjoy your
stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
- For more information
on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity
Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
- Telecommunication Device
for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175
for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.