Beaver Dam State Park in Plainview, IL is a family-oriented park, making it an excellent choice to celebrate Great Outdoors Month either for a day, weekend, week, or longer. Dating back to 1890, as a favorite fishing spot for Carlinville, IL locals, Beaver Dam State Park has evolved into a 751-acre woodland area full of a variety of wildlife, hiking trails, campsites, and picnic areas, as well as a 59-acre lake stocked for fishing.
Awaiting families longing to spend time in the great outdoors, Beaver Dam is home to wildlife such as deer, fox, raccoons, grey squirrels, rabbits, and wild turkeys. It hosts a variety of frogs, snakes and insects. Bluebirds, finches, cardinals, nuthatches, and chickadees, are just some of the songbirds one might see and hear. Hawks and pileated woodpeckers are also native to the area. All these and more can be seen while hiking the eight miles of trails that intertwine though the parks wooded areas and along the lake’s edge.
Enjoy a day of picnicking at the large area set aside just for picnics. Picnic sites are equipped with picnic tables and some with barbecue grills or you can bring your own. Four large pavilions are available for reservation if you think your sunny day may turn rainy. Playground equipment such as swings and slides are located close to the picnic and camp areas, making it easy for parents to keep a watchful eye on their little ones. There are many open areas where families can play a game of baseball, horseshoes, or lawn darts.
Camping is available for trailers and tents. Trailer pads are not equipped with water hookups, but electricity is available for trailers, along with a sanitary dump station. There is a building, located in the center of the trailer area, which has flush toilets and where one can take a shower. Tent camping, which includes picnic tables and fire pads, is located in another area, which is near restrooms and fresh water. Groups, such as Boy and Girl Scouts have a separate camping area with restrooms. All campsites are located in shaded areas and be sure to bring all your camping equipment as the park provides none.
However, the park does have a small store on the lake’s edge that is open from April through the middle of October. For sale is food, fishing tackle, live bait, Illinois fishing license, and picnic supplies. It is also, where you pay for the rental of rowboats and paddleboats.
The rowboats rent for about $20.00 for the entire day and the paddleboats cost about $10.00 for 30 minutes and $15.00 for one hour. I can honestly say you will want to rent the paddleboats for at least an hour, as the time goes by fast. They hold four people, and are lots of fun. Life vests are included in the price of the rental.
For the angler in the family, the lake is stocked with bluegill, sunfish, largemouth bass, and catfish. The park provides a free boat launch and dock; however, they only allow rowboats or boats with electric trolling motors.
Near the store is a free archery range. All those, 16 and over can bring their own archery equipment and practice hitting the targets. An adult must accompany children, under the age of 16.
During designated hunting seasons, one can hunt for turkey, squirrel and deer. Trapping for furbearing animals is also allowed during the appointed season.
Source: Beaver Dam State Park