Address 1: P.O. Box 426
Open: Open all year
Open all Year: Yes
Number of Sites: 150
Full Hook: Yes
Its first name was Quashquema, a Fox Indian word meaning “peaceful place.” Its current name is Nauvoo, a Hebrew word for “beautiful place” or “pleasant land.” This historic town is the backdrop for Nauvoo State Park, on the banks of the Mississippi River in western Illinois’ Hancock County.
The 148-acre park, on the south edge of Nauvoo along Illinois Route 96, includes a 13-acre lake with a mile-long shoreline. In addition to fishing, boating, camping and hiking, people return to these serene surroundings for the park’s recreational features, its annual grape festival, and to soak up the area’s history
Fishing and Boating
Lake Horton, a 13-acre manmade fishing lake, is stocked for anglers wanting to catch largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill. Although there are no boat docks or boat rentals, a primitive boat launch is available. Only electric trolling motors are allowed.
Nauvoo State Park offers 150 camping spaces, equally divided between Class A and Class B areas. A youth group area is centrally located in the park. Don’t forget to ask for permission — all campers must obtain a permit for overnight camping from the park office, and any group of 25 or more must get advance permission before entering the park.
The park’s main trail, Locust Lane at 1.5 miles, shows off some of the park’s best features. As the trail winds around the lake and through timbered areas, hikers can see and hear a variety of birds. There’s also a three-eighths-mile loop from the camping area that’s accessible to senior citizens and to those in wheelchairs. A short trail connects the main picnic and playground area to the dam, and there’s also a short, one-way jaunt to Gilligan’s Island on Lake Horton.
Picnic and Playground Areas
If picnicking is in your plans while visiting Nauvoo State Park, you’re in luck. The park features two picnic and playground areas totaling 20 acres. In addition to playground equipment for kids, you’ll find tables, stoves and two shelter houses, one equipped with modern toilet facilities. A ball diamond and two parking lots round out the list of amenities.
Sledding is permitted on the slopes adjacent to the dam of Lake Horton. Cross-country skiing is allowed along the trails when snow cover is adequate, but snowmobiling is not. Please note that the modern rest rooms are closed during winter months as is the museum.