walnut point state park

Walnut Point State Park: Explore Illinois

Welcome to Walnut Point State Park, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of rural East Central Illinois. With its stunning natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities, Walnut Point State Park offers a truly unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and camping enthusiasts alike.

Spanning across 671 acres, Walnut Point State Park is named after the county’s first pioneer settlement and is a haven for those seeking tranquility and adventure in the great outdoors. From its picturesque 59-acre Walnut Point Lake to its sprawling prairie restoration area and scenic hiking trails, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Walnut Point State Park is a remote and picturesque state park located in rural East Central Illinois.
  • The park features a stunning 59-acre Walnut Point Lake, offering excellent fishing opportunities.
  • Surrounded by hickory, oak, sassafras, and maple trees, the park provides a beautiful and serene environment for visitors.
  • Walnut Point State Park is easily accessible via major highways such as I-57, U.S. 36, and Illinois Route 133.
  • The park offers various facilities, including picnic areas, campgrounds, and restrooms.

Essential Information

Walnut Point State Park Lake

If you’re planning a visit to Walnut Point State Park in Illinois, it’s essential to have all the necessary information to make your trip enjoyable and hassle-free. Here’s a quick guide to the park’s location, facilities, lake, and trails.


Walnut Point State Park is conveniently located just outside the small town of Oakland in East Central Illinois. It’s approximately 20 miles from the city of Charleston, making it easily accessible for both local and out-of-town visitors. The park is located off major highways such as I-57, U.S. 36, and Illinois Route 133, making it easy to find and navigate to.


Walnut Point State Park offers a range of facilities to enhance your experience. There are picnic areas with tables and grills scattered throughout the park, perfect for enjoying a meal or snacks amidst nature. The park also has well-maintained restrooms conveniently located for visitors’ convenience.

If you plan on spending the night, the park offers camping facilities for tents and RVs, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty. It’s important to note that reservations are required for camping, so make sure to plan ahead and secure your spot.

Lake and Trails

One of the highlights of Walnut Point State Park is its stunning 59-acre lake. The lake offers excellent fishing opportunities, so don’t forget to bring your fishing gear and try your luck catching bass, crappie, and catfish. Boating is also allowed on the lake, with floating docks and piers available for easy access.

If you’re an avid hiker or nature enthusiast, you’ll enjoy exploring the park’s scenic trails. The park has several trails that wind through the woods, offering beautiful views and a chance to get closer to nature. The total length of the trails is approximately three miles, providing ample space for a leisurely stroll or a more vigorous hike.

Park Highlights

One of the main highlights of Walnut Point State Park is its prairie restoration area, a vibrant ecosystem that showcases the natural beauty of the Midwest. This meticulously preserved area provides a haven for native grasses, wildflowers, and other plant species, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich biodiversity. Strolling through the prairie, you’ll witness a kaleidoscope of colors and scents, immersing yourself in a truly enchanting experience.

Another gem within the park is the Embarras Woods, a 65-acre forest preserve that beckons hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. As you explore the winding trails, you’ll find yourself enveloped in a serene canopy of towering trees, providing respite from the sun’s rays. The Embarras Woods is teeming with wildlife, making it an ideal spot for wildlife spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic flight of owls, the graceful presence of herons, and the joyful melodies of songbirds. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of deer gracefully bounding through the forest or a reptile basking in the sun.

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Walnut Point State Park’s trails, allowing the soft crunch of leaves beneath your feet to guide you. Traverse the prairie restoration area and the Embarras Woods, reveling in the untouched beauty of nature. Whether you’re seeking solace in serene surroundings or hoping to witness the wonders of wildlife, this park offers a sanctuary for both.


kayaking at Walnut Point State Park

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Walnut Point State Park offers a variety of activities to enjoy during your visit. Whether you prefer fishing, boating, hiking, camping, or kayaking, this park has something for everyone.


Walnut Point State Park is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The 59-acre Walnut Point Lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, crappie, and catfish. Anglers can cast their lines from the shore or take advantage of the park’s floating docks and piers for easy access to deeper waters.


Boating is another popular activity at Walnut Point State Park. Visitors can bring their own boats or rent kayaks from the Lazy Day Cafe. The lake provides a peaceful and scenic setting for boating, allowing you to explore the waters and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.

Hiking and Camping

For those who enjoy hiking and camping, Walnut Point State Park has several trails that wind through the woods, offering beautiful views and opportunities to spot wildlife. The camping facilities in the park cater to both RVs and tent campers, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience surrounded by nature.


In addition to boating, kayaking is a popular activity at Walnut Point State Park. The calm waters of the lake and nearby Embarras River provide an ideal environment for kayaking. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, exploring the waters by kayak is a great way to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the park.

Activities at a Glance

Activity Description
Fishing Enjoy excellent fishing opportunities in Walnut Point Lake
Boating Explore the lake’s calm waters by boat or kayak
Hiking Discover scenic trails that wind through the park’s woods
Camping Experience the beauty of nature by camping in the park
Kayaking Paddle through the peaceful waters of the lake and river

Exploring the Area

natural beauty

While Walnut Point State Park offers plenty to see and do within its boundaries, there are also several attractions in the surrounding area worth exploring. The park is close to the quaint town of Oakland, with a population of under 800 residents. Located just a short drive away, Oakland provides a charming small-town experience with its historic buildings and friendly community. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, browse local shops, and enjoy a meal at one of the cozy cafes or restaurants.

If you’re looking for more amenities and attractions, the nearby town of Charleston is a great option. Situated approximately 20 miles from Walnut Point State Park, Charleston is a vibrant college town. Home to Eastern Illinois University, the town offers a range of dining options, shopping centers, and cultural experiences. Visitors can explore the campus grounds, catch a performance at the Doudna Fine Arts Center, or visit the Tarble Arts Center for an enriching artistic experience.

For those who appreciate the natural beauty of the region, scenic drives through the Illinois countryside are a must. The rolling hills, expansive farmlands, and picturesque landscapes provide a peaceful and serene backdrop for a relaxing drive. Keep an eye out for charming farmhouses, vibrant wildflowers, and perhaps even a glimpse of local wildlife along the way. If you’re fortunate, you might spot a majestic bald eagle soaring in the sky or grazing deer in the distance.

Whether you’re seeking small-town charm, college town vibrancy, or the tranquility of the countryside, there’s something for everyone in the area surrounding Walnut Point State Park. Take the time to venture beyond the park’s boundaries and discover the unique attractions and natural wonders that await.

Services and Facilities

picnic areas, campgrounds, restrooms, concessions

When visiting Walnut Point State Park, you can expect a range of services and facilities to enhance your experience. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an overnight stay, the park offers amenities to ensure your comfort and convenience.

Picnic Areas

Spend quality time with family and friends by enjoying a picnic in one of the park’s designated areas. These picnic areas feature tables and grills, providing the perfect setting for a delicious outdoor meal. Take in the serene surroundings while savoring your favorite foods amidst the beauty of nature.


If you’re looking to extend your stay, Walnut Point State Park offers both RV and tent camping facilities. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the park by spending the night under the stars. Reservations are required, so be sure to plan ahead and secure your spot in this picturesque campground.


To ensure your comfort during your visit, conveniently located restrooms are available throughout the park. These facilities provide a clean and convenient option for visitors to freshen up or take a break during their outdoor adventures.


For added convenience, the park features the Lazy Day Cafe, a concession stand where you can purchase food, drinks, and firewood. The cafe offers a selection of snacks and refreshments to keep you fueled throughout your visit. Additionally, visitors can rent kayaks from the cafe to explore the scenic Walnut Point Lake.

Table 6.1: Facilities at Walnut Point State Park

Facility Description
Picnic Areas Designated areas with tables and grills for outdoor picnics
Campgrounds Facilities for both RV and tent camping, reservations required
Restrooms Conveniently located facilities throughout the park
Concessions Lazy Day Cafe offering food, drinks, firewood, and kayak rentals

Park History and Planning Your Visit

Walnut Point State Park

Visiting Walnut Point State Park is not only an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of rural East Central Illinois but also a chance to explore its rich history. The park’s name is derived from the county’s first pioneer settlement, which dates back to the 1830s. To learn more about the park’s fascinating past, make sure to visit the local ranger center, where you’ll find informational displays and exhibits that delve into the park’s historical significance.

When planning your visit to Walnut Point State Park, it’s important to make reservations in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Reservations can be made through the park’s website or by contacting the park office directly. By making reservations ahead of time, you can secure a camping spot, plan your activities, and avoid any potential disappointment due to overcrowding. Additionally, it’s advisable to check the park’s website for any updates or specific details before your visit. This way, you can stay informed about any closures, special events, or changes in park regulations.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the park’s picturesque trails, fishing in Walnut Point Lake, or simply relaxing in the peaceful surroundings, proper planning will help you make the most of your visit to Walnut Point State Park. By taking the time to research and prepare, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience in this hidden gem of Illinois.

Park History and Planning Your Visit
Learn about the park’s rich history
Make reservations in advance
Check the park’s website for updates
Proper planning ensures an enjoyable visit

Nearby Parks and Trails

If you’re a nature enthusiast looking to explore more of the beautiful outdoor spaces in the region, there are several other state parks and recreational areas worth visiting near Walnut Point State Park. These parks offer a variety of activities and opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Illinois.

One nearby park to consider is Fox Ridge State Park, which boasts scenic hiking trails that wind through forests and prairies. This park is known for its diverse plant and animal life, making it a great spot for wildlife spotting.

Another option is Lake Shelbyville, a popular destination for outdoor recreation. With its vast expanse of water, this park offers excellent fishing opportunities, as well as boating and kayaking adventures. You can also enjoy picnicking and camping in the serene surroundings.

Kickapoo State Recreation Area is another nearby gem, featuring over 2,800 acres of natural beauty. This park offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. The extensive trail system allows you to explore the diverse landscapes, including woodlands, prairies, and wetlands.


How big is Walnut Point State Park?

Walnut Point State Park covers 671 acres of land.

What is Walnut Point Lake known for?

Walnut Point Lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities for bass, crappie, catfish, and more.

What facilities are available at Walnut Point State Park?

Walnut Point State Park offers picnic areas, campgrounds, restrooms, and a concession stand.

Can I go boating in Walnut Point State Park?

Yes, boating is allowed on Walnut Point Lake, and there are floating docks and piers for easy access.

What wildlife can I expect to see at the park?

Visitors to Walnut Point State Park can expect to see a variety of birds, including owls, herons, and songbirds, as well as other wildlife such as deer and reptiles.

Are there any nearby attractions worth exploring?

Yes, nearby Oakland and Charleston offer additional amenities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

How can I make reservations for camping or other activities at the park?

Reservations for camping and other activities can be made through the park’s website or by contacting the park office directly.

Are there other state parks or recreational areas nearby?

Yes, nearby parks such as Fox Ridge State Park, Lake Shelbyville, and Kickapoo State Recreation Area offer additional outdoor activities and natural beauty to explore.

Source Links

Scroll to Top