SAM PARR STATE PARK
For several decades the residents of Jasper County worked for a state park, assisted and encouraged by a former resident and conservationist, Sam Parr. In 1960, 72 acres of land were acquired by the Department of Natural Resources and the Jasper County Conservation Area became a reality. Additional acquisitions have brought the total acreage to 1,180, including a 183-acre lake.
After the death of Sam Parr in 1966, the General Assembly changed the name from Jasper County to Sam Parr. The site was formally dedicated on May 12, 1972. It is 3 miles northeast of Newton.
As in most of Illinois, the early inhabitants of this area were Indians. For nearly 1,000 years they fished and lived along the Embarrass River and hunted in nearby woodlands, including what is now Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area.
The 1770's brought the French and the westward expansion of the American colonists, who pushed the Indians westward into Illinois in search for new lands. The Piankashaw finally settled in this area and they lived in comparative peace with the French who lived with them, adapting many of their ways. General Harrison from Vincennes, Indiana, negotiated a treaty with the Piankashaws in 1812, whereby they gave up nearly one million acres of land to the United States Government, including what is now Jasper county. There were about 140 Piankashaw Indians left in the area.
Class B/E, C & D, and Youth camping are available. It is suggested you call ahead due to an ADA Construction project at the park which may periodically close some campsites.
Boats with maximum 10 hp motors are allowed on the lake, and canoes are popular. Boat dock rentals are available. Fishing access and parking is also available on the east side of the lake via a county road.