White Pines Forest State Park, Mount Morris

4.5
#7 of 37 in Nature in Illinois
White Pines Forest State Park, more commonly referred to as White Pines State Park, is an Illinois state park in Ogle County, Illinois. It is located near the communities of Polo, Mount Morris and Oregon. The 385acre park contains the southernmost remaining stand of native white pine trees in the state of Illinois, and that area, 43acre, was designated an Illinois Nature Preserve in 2001.The area was poised to become a state park in 1903, but a veto by Governor Richard Yates prevented that from occurring. Supporters continued to press for the White Pines Woods, as it was once known, to receive state park designation throughout the period 1903-1927. In 1927 the park was established with help from supporters in the Chicago media. The park contains two freshwater streams, dolomite rock formations, and a variety of activities generally associated with Illinois state parks. Along Pine Creek, one of the park's two streams, fords were constructed instead of bridges allowing visitors to drive through the creek.
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White Pines Forest State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
152 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • My husband and I went for lunch at the restaurant today. We hadn't been there for quite awhile and it was a beautiful day for a drive to the park. Our waitress was Mackenzie and she was so sweet and p...  more »
  • Very clean, quiet cabins. The trails were easy enough for us to navigate. The breakfast buffet was deelish!  more »
  • I went for a drive decided to go to White Pines State Park. It is extremely well kept, as an on-site restaurant, cabins, and plenty of place to picnic and have a good time. What are the coolest things...  more »
Google
  • Great hiking, but lackluster camping. The trails are hilly and usually only wide enough for one person at a time, but the frequent stream crossings (concrete stones provide a dry walk path) and colorful dragonflies make it an enjoyable hike. We did not pick up any ticks here. Unfortunately, the map of the trails is incorrect so some guess-work is required to find your way around. As for the camping, I found the sites to be very close together and many were simply in the median between lanes of traffic. I should point out that I haven't encountered any campgrounds any more spaced out in this proximity to Chicago. Quiet hours were not enforced at all - which is either a pro or a con depending on your preferences. No showers, but there are latrines (bring a flashlight) and dumpsters throughout.
  • Good camping and some easy hiking. One problem about camping - trains come rolling through all night long, and blow horns frequently. Must be some regulation stipulating sounding horns at certain locations because every train had the same pattern of horn blasts. Trains are not right at park, but not very far away. Went fishing in river hoping to catch some bluegill, and was surprised when my 5 year old grandson pulled out (with help) a 1 1/2 - 2 pound trout. Made his weekend.
  • This location has beautiful trails. The lookout peak isn't as amazing as I thought it would be, and even though it was supposed to be a difficult trail it wasn't that bad at all. But overall nice scenery and wide variety of trails to choose from.
  • Have always have had a great time there and perfect place for photo shoots. Very picturesque with water, bridges crossing creek, and small cliffs. Great picnic spots and open area to play games or hiking.
  • I live near by and have frequented this park for years. I was just there yesterday and I am sad to have to say it's a dirty park. There is trash strewn up and down all the trails, some of the park is now closed off with signs telling visitors they risk being arrested if they go any further. I am not sure what that is all about. The creek is hard to fish from due to debris under the water and it's usually fairly busy. It has been years since I ate at the resturant and have never stayed in the cabins although they do look nice from the outside. I feel the park needs to be managed better and visitors should certainly clean up after themselves. The park does offer campgrounds but they seem to be crowded together and dirty. The trails aren't too bad but again, do like I do and take bag to pick up some of the trash that is all over the place.

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