Bruce Rauner, Governor

DNR Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 IDNR Home
 Agency Offices
 Disabled Outdoors
 Freedom of Information Act
 Get Involved
 Grant Info
 Great Lakes Restoration
 License / Permit / Register
 Kids & Education
 Law Enforcement
 Mandatory Safety Programs
 Lodges / Leasing
 More Links
 Outdoor Recreation
 Parks & Recreation
 Press Releases
 State Museums
 World Shooting & Recreational Complex
 DNR A to Z

Illinois Gallery Website
Enjoy Illinois

  Beaver Dam - State Park   

West-Central Region

14548 Beaver Dam Lane
Plainview, Illinois 62685
a birdwatcher
Archery Range Fishing Picnicking
Camping Hiking Playground
Concession History Wildlife
Directions Hunting Winter Sports

Located in 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 lake.

Park History

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. 

campground cabinCamping

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 using ReserveAmerica.


The concession stand is currently closed.

bank fishingFishing

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.

Hiking Trails

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.

Playground Equipment

One set of playground equipment is located in the picnic area.

Archery Range

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.

Winter Activities

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

Directions 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 conflicts.
  • 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.

Parks & Recreation

Illinois Dept.of Natural Resources
Office of Land Management
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Interpretive Programs
State Park Magazine
Website Map
Visitor Comment Card

Copyrightę 2015 Department of Natural Resources
Accessibility    Contact    FAQs    Podcasts    Privacy    Social Networking