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White Pines Forest State Park is a beautiful place to visit no matter the time of year. Be it when the flowers are in full bloom, when the forest has a golden hue in autumn or when snow covers the floor, visitors will always find something to do. The park is located in the heart of Rock River Valley and covers 385 acres. There are plenty of recreational activities available within the park such as fishing, hiking, picnicking, and camping, to name a few. The landscape is very picturesque, with gushing freshwater streams, dolomite rock formations, and fjords which allow cars to pass over the water.
The park is located near the communities of Mount Morris, Oregon and Dixon, making it easily accessible when you book an RV in Ogle County. The big city of Rockford is also close by. The area became a state park in 1927, with help from supporters in the Chicago media.
One of the most popular activities in the park is hiking, and although the area is pretty small, there are plenty of walking routes to choose from. There are varied terrains, including some challenging uphill bouts, but you'll be rewarded with some beautiful scenery. Overall there are seven different trails through the landscape, collectively covering five miles of ground. The winding trails will take you past stunning natural landscapes including rugged limestone cliff face and towering pine trees. For an easy walk, three of the trails are less than a mile long, or for those that are up for a bit more of a challenge. There are some that are a bit longer and include a bit of a climb. All trails are color-coded marker to help keep you on track and will help you find your way back to the state park RV campgrounds.
The forest provides a beautiful area for a family day out, so bring a picnic and come and enjoy the wild side of the state. Pine Creek offers the perfect backdrop for alfresco dining, and there are plenty of shaded picnic spots along its bank. These picnic areas are equipped with fire pits, picnic tables, and children's playgrounds. There are also shelters which are ideal for family gatherings. Picnicking in the park provides the ideal opportunity for wildlife watching, or there are plenty of places where you can drive through the area in your RV rental, including through the water on the concrete fjords.
During the colder months, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, and cross-country skiing becomes available. There are two trails to pick from, which cover 4.5 miles overall. You'll have a skiing experience quite unlike anything you have experienced before thanks to the diverse landscape and views of snow-covered pines.
Overall there are 103 sites available for RV camping at White Pines Forest State Park for those that fancy a night under the stars. There are three main camping sites to choose from. Cedar Ridge campgrounds only offer non-electric camping sites which could be a problem for some. It does, however, have clean restrooms, a dump station, and ADA facilities.
Another option is Fix Canyon Campground which is operated on a first come first serve basis if you want the electric sites; however, the non-electric are able to be reserved. There are a restroom and drinking water. However, these sites are best tailored towards smaller RVs, which is something to be aware of.
Lastly, there is Sunny Crest Family campground. Again, the electric sites are not able to be reserved, but the non-electric are. The sites are well shaded and pet-friendly, although barking should be kept at a minimum, with White Pines Forest State Park camping available the majority of the year.
There is plenty to do in this part of Illinois, as there is always some kind of event or festival to attend. Art enthusiasts will be impressed with the amount of art in the region. Since the 1800s artist have been making their way to the area to escape the city and become inspired. Visitors can visit the many local galleries, take the bronze sculpture trail or take a look at the straw sculptures, chainsaw carvings, and numerous sidewalk art.
For those that are more interested in history, you will not be disappointed either. There are many museums within just a short drive of the state forest, such as the John Deere Site and Ronald Reagan's Boyhood home.
The attractions don't stop when it comes to family fun, as there are many places that are geared a little bit more towards children such as farms, corn mazes, indoor rock climbing, and laser tag. Many people enjoy simply driving out to the Nahusa Grasslands and watching the buffalo that call the area their home.
If golf is your game, there are plenty of courses to choose from within close vicinity to the forest, so remember to bring your club with you when getting an RV rental near White Pines Forest State Park.