Sam Dale Lake State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Its beautiful 194-acre lake, lush vegetation, and gently rolling terrain make Sam Dale Lake State Park just perfect for RV camping trips. Located three miles west of Johnsonville and one mile north of Highway 161 extension in northwest Wayne County, Illinois, this state park has something for every RV camper and visitor. Whether your love is fishing, hunting/archery, hiking, horseback riding, boating, wildlife viewing, canoeing/kayaking, picnicking, or stargazing, Sam Dale Lake State Park has you covered, with an exciting holiday experience.

The park features four and a half miles of shoreline trail and three and a half miles of nature trail, several small ponds that house fish and wildlife, campgrounds with campsites available for RVs and tents equipped with electric hookups, picnic areas, playgrounds, concessions, boat ramps and launching areas, shelter houses, trailer dump station, ADA accessible areas, and a primitive campground.

The 1302-acre Sam Dale Lake State Park features 950 acres of hunting area, and 330 acres of cropland and food plots, 47 acres of grasslands, 630 acres of woodlands, and 204 acres of wetlands and a lake. The diversity and distribution of habitat types provides an excellent area for wildlife.

The park was named for Sam O. Dale, an eight-term state representative who also served as a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools in Hamilton County.

RV Rentals in Sam Dale Lake State Park

Transportation in Sam Dale Lake State Park

Driving

Sam Dale Lake State Park is an easy-to-access park located three miles west of Johnsonville and one mile north of Highway 161 extension in northwest Wayne County. Consequently, you will find it easy to locate and drive to the park in your RV, trailer, or other motorized vehicles. Local paved roads within the park connect the campgrounds and areas of interest. There are no driving restrictions within Sam Dale Lake State Park.

Parking

There are several options for parking RVs and trailers, with seven parking areas throughout the park. You’ll easily find parking areas along the main road in the park and across the entire park area. Overnight parking is available for RV campers.

Public Transport

There are no public transportation facilities available at Sam Dale Lake State Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Sam Dale Lake State Park

Campsites in Sam Dale Lake State Park

Reservations camping

Lake View Campground

Lake View Campground in Sam Dale Lake State Park features 35 standard pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. One of the campsites is ADA accessible. All the campsites are equipped with electric hookups for RVs. RV length limit at the campground is 64 feet. Amenities at the campground include drinking water and restrooms.

Hickory Hollow Campground

Hickory Hollow Campground in Sam Dale Lake State Park features 33 standard pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. One of the campsites is ADA accessible. All the campsites are equipped with electric hookups for RVs. RV length limit at the campground is 58 feet. Amenities at the campground include drinking water, restrooms, and a trailer dump station.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Sam Dale Lake State Park

In-Season

Hiking

Pack your hiking boots as you visit Sam Dale Lake State Park to enjoy the three-mile nature trail and four and a half-mile hiking trail that will take you through scenic spots and offer you the chance to see the beautiful features in the park. The sights and sounds along the nature trail that winds through a wooded area with three major loops is definitely something to look forward to. Moreover, the trail that winds along the lake is also one you definitely want to hike on.

An eight and a half-mile horseback riding trail is also available in Sam Dale Lake State Park for equestrians to enjoy.

Fishing

The long and narrow 194-acre Sam Dale Lake in the park features many fingers and curves that make it the perfect setting for angling. RV campers at Sam Dale Lake State Park catch fish species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie and channel catfish. Several floating fishing docks are available in the park to ensure campers and visitors that love fishing get to fully enjoy the activity without difficulties. A concession stand sells fishing bait near the boat dock area.

Hunting

The rolling open fields in Sam Dale Lake State Park, interspersed by evergreen plantings and fence rows, present the perfect spots for game hunting in the park. As a result, RV campers at the park relish the opportunities to hunt for game such as deer (archery hunting), turkey (archery hunting), squirrel, dove, rabbit, quail, and furbearing animals. Hunting in the park is restricted to the designated hunting area and hunting permits are required. Only shotgun or bow hunting are allowed.

Off-Season

Fauna

Sam Dale Lake offers campers various wildlife sights in different parts of the park. RV campers at Sam Dale Lake State Park get the opportunity to see quail, rabbit, dove, squirrel, deer, muskrat, fox, raccoon, owls, turkey, hawk, wood cock or beaver roaming the timber or brushy fields of the park.

Boating

Whether you visited Sam Dale Lake State Park with your boat or not, you won’t be left out of the excitement of boating on the lake as the lake has boat rental facilities available to RV campers. In addition, two boat launching ramps and boat docks are available providing the perfect place to kickstart the boating adventure. The motor boat limit in the park is 10 horsepower.

Picnicking

The tall, shady trees and plentiful flowers and greenery in Sam Dale Lake State Park invite RV campers and visitors to the park’s picnic areas to enjoy meals and outdoor activities. With four perfectly-sited picnic areas, including Poplar Grove, Maple Grove, Permission Point, RV campers are sure to enjoy picnics in the areas equipped with tables, drinking fountains, and outdoor stoves, giving an experience that is nothing short of breathtaking. Playground equipment is available around some of the picnic areas and a concession stand offers sandwiches and cold drinks.

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