Located in the heart of the Rock River valley, the 385-acre White Pines Forest State Park is the south boundary of the historic Chicago-Iowa Trail. Today, the park is perfect for family getaways to enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and picnicking. With serene, picturesque beauty, and modern lodge facilities amidst a beautiful forest, there is no better place to retreat from the everyday routine than the open spaces at White Pines.
Along the meandering banks of Spring and Pine creeks, this scenic haven has magnificent trees that share moss-covered cliffs, strung with trailing vines. In season, colorful beds of blossoming trout lily, solomons seal, bloodroot, blue-eyed grass, spring beauty and hepatica are everywhere.
Among the park’s most interesting features are the concrete fords that span the creeks, allowing visitors to drive through the flowing streams, with an accessible path leading to the stream bank for wildlife watching and fishing.
Camping and picnicking are popular at White Pines, with shaded picnic areas along Pine Creek and more than 100 campsites and youth group campgrounds available, with advance reservations through www.reserveamerica.com.
White Pines Inn, originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, has modern amenities. There are 13 one-room cabins and three cabins with four rooms. The White Pines Inn Restaurant features homemade delicacies, banquet facilities, and a dinner theater. For lodge reservations, call 815-946-3817 or go online to www.whitepinesinn.com.
White Pines Forest State Park has seasonal archery and firearm deer hunting and, when snow covers the ground, cross country skiing trails.