Macoupin County 7 miles southwest of Carlinville and situated in an oak/hickory
woodland, Beaver Dam State Park offers a variety of recreational opportunities
on its 750 acres. Fishing, picnicking, hiking, and tent and trailer camping
are among the most popular activities. Although beaver are virtually
gone from this area, the park is named for a beaver dam that created its
The lake became a well-known fishing spot
in the early 1890s, when 18 men from the Carlinville area formed a Beaver
Dam Lake Club. They spent $2,500 to build a dam at each end of the lake
and double the water depth. For a number of years the club held summer
and fall picnics at the lake. Their families enjoyed fishing and boating
throughout the season. The area then became the property of the family
of Mrs. Sarah Rhodes, who for some time operated a small hotel which stood
on the site of the present ranger residence. One mile northeast of the
hotel existed a cluster of houses and a railroad stop known as Macoupin
Station. Trains stopping here were met by a large horse-drawn coach which
took guests to the hotel. With the advent of the automobile, however,
this transit business disappeared and the hotel was closed. The initial
land acquisition for Beaver Dam State Park was 425 acres in 1947. Additional
land purchases have increased the park to a total of 751 acres.
The combination of upland and bottomland
woods, farmland, open fields, a lake and a marsh combine to provide habitat
for many kinds of animals. A quiet walker may discover deer, foxes, raccoons,
grey squirrels, wild turkeys, hawks, owls and woodpeckers. The park
also is a home for snakes, frogs and insects. White squirrels, which are
not albinos but a white-color phase of the grey squirrel, are
periodically seen within the park boundaries. Some different types of
songbirds which enrich the natural setting are bluebirds, orioles, finches,
cardinals, titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, peewees and cuckoos. Waterfowl
and shorebirds are found seasonally in the park. Pileated woodpeckers
also arecommonly seen.
The trailer camping area has electricity at each pad and a sanitary dump
station. A shower building with flush toilets is located in the center
of the trailer camping area. Water is available, but individual sites do not have water hookups. There are 40 reservable campsites; all others are first come first served. Tent camping is in a separate area, with nearby
restrooms and water. A designated area for youth-group camping, such
as Boy or Girl Scouts, features rest rooms, water, fire pads and picnic
tables. When youth groups plan to use the area, make a reservation using ReserveAmerica. All camping is situated
in wooded areas with large oak and hickory trees which provide shade
throughout most of the day. Located next to the shower house is a Rent A Cabin, available
for reservation. The Rent-A-Cabin and many campsites are available
for reservation using ReserveAmerica. The park does
not rent tents.
One large section of the park is established for picnicking. Picnic
tables and barbecue grills are provided, or picnickers may bring their
own grills. Four pavilions are located in the picnic area and can be reserved by contacting the site for reservation forms.
The concession stand on the lake is open from mid-March through
mid-October each year.
The park contains a 59-acre lake, which has a maximum depth of 10 feet
and 1.7 miles of shoreline. Over the years the lake has been stocked with
largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish and channel catfish. A free boat launch
and docks are available for public use. No gasoline engines are allowed.
Only electric trolling motors, check the information display for daily
catch and size limits.
Approximately 8 miles of hiking trails within in the park encircle the lake, lead past the marsh, and extend through various wooded
areas in the park.
One set of playground equipment is located in the picnic area.
An archery range is located across from the concession and may be used
free of charge. Archers must bring their own bow and arrows. Broadhead
points are not allowed. All archers under 16 years of age must be accompanied
by an adult.
When conditions are suitable, ice fishing and ice skating are permitted.
Adequate snow cover permits cross-country skiing and sledding.
Spring Turkey, Archery Deer, Squirrel and Furbearer trapping are available at Beaver Dam during the regulated seasons.
For more information please review the
Beaver Dam Hunter
Fact Sheet | Goodes Woods Hunter Fact Sheet
Beaver Dam Archery Deer Application | Goods Woods Archery Deer Application
to the Park
Take Rt. 108 west which is located 24 miles
south of Springfield on I-55. Go 11 miles west to Carlinville. Travel
on 108 west through Carlinville to the Amtrak Station. Turn left (south)
and go 7 miles to Beaver Dam.
Take Rt. 16 west located at the Litchfield
turn off on I-55. Go to Shipman. On the west side of Shipman take Carlinville
Road 7 miles to Beaver Dam.
- 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.