Featuring woods, water and wildlife, Walnut Point State Park has everything you could ask for when it comes to having a relaxing RV vacation. The 671 acre park is located in east-central Illinois and takes its name after the first pioneer settlement that was created in the 1830s. The settlement is no longer in existence and the park was opened in 1968 around two miles from the original park site.
The highlight of Walnut Point State Park is the 59-acre, multi-fingered Walnut Point Lake. The lake is stream fed and was formed by an earthen dam that is located on the lake's southern shore. Walnut Point Lake is quite deep with an average depth of 12.5 feet and it is a fishing paradise. Bird watching, hiking, picnicking, hunting and winter recreation are also popular activities within the park.
There are several types of camping options that are offered to guests at Walnut Point State Park. For RV lovers there are 34 electric hookup sites that offer a 30 amp connections. These sites are close to a bathhouse that has flush toilets. Along with the RV friendly sites there are also walk-in tent only sites for those looking for a more rustic camping experience. Camping at Walnut Point State Park is closed during the winter time. Peak season at Walnut Point State Park runs from mid-April until the end of October.
Walnut Point State Park is located in Douglas County, Illinois. This east-central Illinois location is around three miles north of the town of Oakland. The park is in close proximity to Interstate 57, US Highway 36 and Illinois Highway 133 so it is super easy to access. Along with Oakland there are many other small towns near the park, including Hindsboro, Isabel, Newman and Hume. The closest major city to the park is Decatur at around 57 miles away and Indianapolis is 127 miles to the east.
Driving to the park is quite easy as the terrain is super flat and the park has easy to access roads that will make your entrance very smooth. During the winter the campground closes, so be aware of this if you are wanting to stay at the park during the colder months. If you still want to visit during winter make sure you call the park office to see if you can still access the park.
If you are driving north on I-57, use Exit 203 at Arcola. From there, go east on Illinois Highway 133 to Oakland. Turn north onto Walnut Street, keep going north and the park will be around three miles from town. If you are going south on I-57, use Exit 212 at Tuscola. Go east on US Highway 36 until the Oakland and Walnut Point signage. Turn south onto Douglas County Highway 7 and the park is around five miles south of US 36.
There is plenty of parking available at Walnut Point State Park.
There are no public transport options that will take you to Walnut Point State Park.
Walnut Point State Park has a very clean and quiet campground that is open to RV's up to 40 feet in length. There are 34 campsites in the park that have electrical hookups that vary between 30 and 50 amp hookups. Out of these 34 sites, two of them are ADA accessible. The RV suitable sites are very wide and level so setting up your camp should be a breeze. There are also 20 sites that are suitable for tents only camping.
The amenities in Walnut Point State Park are up to date and feature smart light bulbs that conserve electricity. There are modern bathrooms, flushing toilets, trash cans, water collection points and a dump station available for use during your stay. You should be able to get cell phone reception in the park on all of the major providers and concessions are available from the park office. The park takes reservations and the maximum length of camping is 14 nights in any 30 day period. Due to the cold that hits the area during the winter the campground is closed until the springtime.
The fishing conditions in Walnut Point Lake are fantastic thanks to the many fingerlike coves. The lake provides a beautiful setting for anglers to enjoy a quality fishing experience. Along with the lake anglers can also try their luck at fishing on the banks of the Embarras River. The lake is home to largemouth bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, bluegill, black crappie and brown bullhead. There are some great facilities available for fishing in the lake, including floating docks, fixed piers and two boat launches that give you great lake access.
The quiet surrounds of Walnut Point State Park makes for a great picnic location. There are eight wooded picnic areas that border the lake and they offer picnic tables, outdoor grills and privies with designated parking areas close by. If you have a larger group there are five large shelters for groups that include eight large tables with protective roofs, two sets of playground equipment and three horseshoe pits. Drinking water is available within the picnic areas and firewood is provided at the concession store.
Hiking and nature lovers will love the outdoor trails that are on offer at Walnut Point State Park. There are around two and a quarter miles of trails that weave through the timber surrounds of the forest. If you are wanting to go for a longer hike you can use the main park road and the Gray Squirrel-Twin Points connection trail which combines for a three mile loop. All trails in Walnut Point State Park are restricted to foot traffic only.
Hunting is permitted in Walnut Point State Park during the designated seasons. Some of the popular species that are hunted in the park are hunting deer via archery and raccoon hunting. Before you begin your hunting trip you can contact the park office for more current information and specific rules and regulations. The park office will also have maps that highlight the hunting area and will also offer you some handy tips for your stay.
The diverse terrain of the park offers bird watchers and nature lovers alike some great opportunities to see animals that call the park home. The park has so much its natural diversity and viewing opportunities that it is among the sites featured in the “Illinois Wildlife and Nature Viewing Guide.” Bird watchers will find some really great viewing for several different species of songbirds, owls and raptors. Throughout the year you can also find wood ducks, herons and Canada geese also hanging out on and along Walnut Point lake.
Once the snow starts to fall at Walnut Point State Park the area turns into a haven for outdoor winter recreation. Ice fishing and ice skating are activities that can be done on Walnut Point Lake, but they they are both "at your own risk" activities as the ice levels of the lake are not monitored. Because of this, make sure you check the ice levels on the lake before you begin your activities. Although the trails are off limits, for the cross-country skiing lovers there is ample space available for you to go skiing within the park.