White Pines Forest State Park
Open: Open all year
Number of Sites: 103
Located in the heart of the Rock River valley, this charming 385-acre park is the south boundary of the old Chicago-Iowa Trail. History tells us that this was for years the principal route east and west across the northern part of the state.
Today the park provides the perfect recipe for family getaways. There are plenty of outdoor recreation activities, such as hiking, fishing, camping and picnicking. With lots of serene, picturesque beauty, and modern lodge facilities amidst a beautiful forest, there is no better way to retreat from the everyday routine than to re-discover yourself and your family among the open spaces at White Pines.
A perfect place for a family outing, there are several shaded picnic areas along Pine Creek with water, fireplaces, tables and children’s playgrounds. Of the four shelters in these areas, two can be reserved and two are first-come, first-served.
Looking to spend a night under the stars? White Pines has 103 class B/S campsites with vehicular access and a shower/flush toilet building. There are 3 electric hook-up sites. There are also sites available for the physically challenged. Soft ground conditions may sometimes close campgrounds during the months of March and April. Call ahead during those times to check the status. All family campsites are on a first come basis, reservations are not accepted. Availability is generally not a problem aside from holiday weekends.There is an alcohol ban in the campground all year around. Limitations on a site are 4 adults or 1 family per site, 2 tents per site and 2 vehicles per site. Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table.
There are also youth group campgrounds available. Reservations are taken for the youth group areas. While pets are allowed in the park you're required to have proof of current rabies vaccination with you, keep the pet leashed at all times and not to be left unattended. Excessive barking will not be allowed. It is required that firewood be purchased locally as most counties to our east fall into the quarantine areas for the non transportation of firewood outside your county due to the Emerald Ash Borer.
Whether you choose an easy walking trail or a more difficult path, three of the seven marked trails are less than a mile long and provide ample opportunity to see the beautiful vine-covered limestone bluffs, blossoming spring flowers and whispering pines. The trails have color-coded markers to aid the hiker in orienteering. A nature trail with a limestone-screened path is accessible for the physically challenged.
When snow covers the ground, be sure to bring your skis, as the White Pines trails are ideal for cross-country skiing. Two trails are available for cross-country skiing totaling 4.5 miles of groomed trails when weather permits.
White Pines Inn, originally constructed by the Civilian Conversation Corps in the 1930s, has undergone an extensive renovation. To preserve the historic ambiance of this wonderful log cabin inn, the original stone and timbers were retained and the new features were carefully blended to enhance the original structure.
There are 13 one-room cabins and 3 cabins with 4 rooms, for a total of 25 guest rooms. Each cabin sleeps four people and is complete with shower, gas log fireplace, on queen bed and one trundle bed. All cabins are air-conditioned and heated, and have telephones, televisions with DVD/VCR's, refrigerator and coffee makers. The historic lounge area, which is part of the main lodge, is filled with crafts and artwork, including a gift shop that offers everything from souvenirs to truffles and jellies.
Numerous homemade delicacies are offered at the White Pines Inn Restaurant. The restaurant can accommodate up to 223 people with several meeting/banquet rooms, on that can seat up to 125. Wedding receptions, retreats, seminars and family reunions are all handled professionally and skillfully. The lodge also offers a matinee dinner theatre.
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