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Illinois State Parks

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USA Parks
Northern Region
Morrison-Rockwood State Park
Morrison-Rockwood State Park © Julie A Koval
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18750 Lake Road
Morrison, Illinois   61270

Phone: 815-772-4708
Reservations: 815-772-4708
Email: park email button icon
A trip to picturesque Morrison-Rockwood State Park offers many memorable experiences. A large sign in the shape of Illinois, fashioned from angle iron by a blacksmith, greets visitors at the entrance. Once inside, choose from a variety of recreational opportunities. Beautiful Lake Carlton, a stream-fed reservoir, features an abundance of ducks and geese, and is considered a prime location for fishing. Or, plan a family outing at the Lakeview picnic area, or just do some bird watching among the hickory, ash, oak and walnut trees.
History of the Area
The Morrison-Rockwood State Park is comprised of 1,164 acres, located north of Morrison in Whiteside County. It was established in 1971 and officially opened for "day use only" that same year. The park is named for the city of Morrison and a combination of nearby Rock Creek and the heavily wooded park area -- Rockwood. Lake Carlton, a focal point of the park, is a watershed impoundment which was constructed in 1969 by building a 38-foot high, 1,800-foot long earthen dam across a stream. The lake was named in memory of L. Carlton Anderson, a local citizen who actively promoted the park and was an important civic and conservation leader. Improvements have continued to be made in the conservation area, making it one of the most popular recreation spots in northern Illinois.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bridle Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
CampingElectric Sitesyes
Park Store
Another amenity you will find at the park is a concession facility that offers a vast array of fishing tackle, boat rentals, bait sales, and a dining area that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner or just an ice cream cone. The bait/boat rental part of the business will open April 1st and the hours will be 7:00 AM to Sunset through October 31st. The restaurant part of the business will open April 1st and the hours will be 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM through October 31st. Marina and Restaurant Phone Number 815/772-3613.

The park has an abundance of wildlife. Lucky visitors may see rabbits, squirrels, quail, pheasants, foxes, coyotes, muskrats, groundhog or deer. Ducks and geese are often swimming on the lake to the delight of visitors. Bird watchers will not be disappointed at Morrison-Rockwood State Park. There are over 150 species of birds among the plentiful stands of hardwoods. Winter sports are also popular at the park. Ice fishing and ice skating are permitted on Lake Carlton. Fourteen miles of cross country ski trails will thrill skiing enthusiasts. The rolling hills of the park make great sledding paths if snow cooperates. For more information contact the Site Superintendent, Morrison-Rockwood State Park, 18750 Lake Road, Morrison, Illinois 61270, phone (815) 772-4708.
Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park is sure to delight all who love the out-of-doors. Ninety-two camping sites are available in heavily wooded areas of the park. Each site has electricity, grill and a table. A shower building with flush toilets is available from May 1st through October 31. A trailer dump station is conveniently located near the campground.
Nearby Accommodations
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BBs / Inns
Our Vacation Rental Home is located right on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River between Savanna and Thomson Illinois. Our location has one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Mississippi River around. We are only a few miles south of the Mississippi Palisades State Park and just one block away from the Great River Bike path that runs from Savanna to East Moline. Spend your next vacation or leisure weekend on the Mighty Mississippi.
13.9 miles from park*
A two-lane concrete boat ramp allows easy access to Lake Carlton. Outboard motors are restricted to 10 HP and under and all boats with motors are to be operated under "no wake" speeds to protect the shoreline from wave erosion. An area is provided for private boat dockage for a small fee through concessionaire.

Morrison-Rockwood State Park is located near Clinton, Rock Falls and Sterling

While at the park, be sure to visit one of the picnic areas -- all equipped with tables and outdoor stoves. Lakeview picnic area offers a beautiful view overlooking Lake Carlton. A pavilion with a fireplace adds to the rustic atmosphere here. Electricity is available for those wanting a more modern facility. This shelter, along with the shelter at Cedar Ridge can be reserved for large groups or family reunions.
A three and one-half mile nature trail is marked for hikers. It offers many scenic views of the lake as it winds through the park. This trail is particularly beautiful in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom.

Equestrians may use a 14-mile trail through the park. The trail has a watering well and an overnight camping site with shelter.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
November 4 October weekend Get-A-Way by Julie_A_K
park review stars; one to five Wonderful Very clean Will return Fun
February 17 Do not feed the bears! by Mike Hunt
park review stars; one to five Other than not being allowed to feed the bears, This place just pretty much all around kicks ass. Bring a radio controlled plane as they have a nice air strip and field dedicated to the R/C sport. I have never flown their though but the facilities are very nice. We were feeding deer at our campsite. They would walk right up to us and eat bread out of our hands. The campsites are very nice and there is a lot of wooded area. That alone is a huge plus to my family as we are all nudists. It allows us to enjoy being outdoors and live our lifestyle and we have never had any problems with feeling like our privacy was being invaded by others. The park has many many species of birds. Bird watching in this park is amazing.
May 26 be prepared for anything
park review stars; one to five you might have a bass on your bait or a muskie
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Area Campgrounds
Timber Lake Resort
8216 Black Oak Road
Mt. Carroll, IL
Crow Valley Campground
23807 Moline Road
Sterling, IL
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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You will feel right at home when you reach Carroll County, our corner of beautiful Northwest Illinois. The magnificent Mississippi River and outdoor spaces will refresh your spirit and touch our soul.
22.4 miles from park*
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Cottages and Cabins
Within a 10 minute drive from Starved Rock and even closer to Matthiessen State Parks you will find a gorgeous, tranquil property with spacious cabins on 50 wooded acres. All with full kitchens and outdoor fire pits. 3 dog friendly.
64.8 miles from park*
businesss listing main photo
Relax in the rustic beauty and comfort of Starved Rock Lodge, Cabins and Starved Rock Inn. The historic Lodge has 69 guest rooms, which include three bay-window rooms, plus cabins nestled in the woods. Fireplaces can be found in four of the eight sunset cabins near the pool area...
62.3 miles from park*
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Hickory Hideaway - Shannon, IL
Cottages and Cabins
More than just lodging, it's home to 12 cabins located on 10 wooded acres just minutes from Lake Carroll approximately 30 minutes from beautiful state parks such as Mississippi Palisades, Lake Le-Aqua- Na, White Pines Forest, Rock Cut, Morrison-Rockwood. A romantic whirlpool cabin with fireplace or country kitchenette can accommodate everything from intimate parties to family reunions. Enjoy our friendly atmosphere beside the bonfire or in our 8-person hot tub.
23.5 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

Morrison Rockwood State Park can be reached from Chicago by taking the East-West Tollway (I-88) west to IL Rte 78. Go north on Rte 78 thru Morrison and follow the signs. On IL Rte 78 follow the signs to Damen Road. Take it to Crosby Road about 2 miles. Turn left on Crosby Road, again following the signs, to our entrance in about 1.5 miles.

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Illinois State Parks