A trip to picturesque Morrison-Rockwood State Park offers many memorable experiences. A large sign in the shape of Illinois, fashioned from angle iron by a blacksmith, greets visitors at the entrance. Once inside, choose from a variety of recreational opportunities. Beautiful Lake Carlton, a stream-fed reservoir, features an abundance of ducks and geese and is considered a prime location for fishing. Morrison-Rockwood is a popular spot for a family outing at the Lakeview picnic area, or watching birds among the hickory, ash, oak and walnut trees.
While at the park, be sure to visit one of the picnic areas--all equipped with tables and outdoor stoves. Lakeview picnic area offers a beautiful view overlooking Lake Carlton. A pavilion with a fireplace adds to the rustic atmosphere. Electricity is available for those wanting a more modern facility. This shelter, along with the shelter at Cedar Ridge can be reserved for large groups or family reunions.
Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park is sure to delight all who love the out-of-doors. Ninety-two camping sites are available in heavily wooded areas of the park, with 59 available for reservation. Each site has electricity, grill and a table. A shower building with flush toilets is available from May 1 through October 31. A trailer dump station is conveniently located near the campground.
Lake Carlton provides one of the best fishing spots in Illinois. Its average depth is 12 feet, with a maximum depth of 27 feet. It has a shoreline of 2.9 miles with plenty of room for shore fishermen. Initial stocking of the lake was completed in 1970 and the lake is managed to maintain a plentiful fishing variety. Anglers may catch largemouth bass, black crappie, rock bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, bluegill, muskie and walleye. In addition to shoreline fishing, nine piers are designated for anglers.
The hunting area is comprised of timber woodlots, brushy draws and fence line interspersed with open grasslands with corn, milo and sunflower food patches. Topography consists of gently rolling hills and several gullies some of which contain permanent water.
A two-lane concrete boat ramp allows easy access to Lake Carlton. Outboard motors are restricted to 10 HP and under, and all boats with motors are to be operated under "no wake" speeds to protect the shoreline from wave erosion. An area is provided for private boat dockage for a small fee payable through the concessionaire.
A 3.5-mile nature trail is marked for hikers, and it offers many scenic views of the lake as it winds through the park. This trail is particularly beautiful in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom. Equestrians may use a 14-mile trail through the park. The trail has a watering well and an overnight camp site with shelter.
Winter sports are also popular. Ice fishing and ice skating are permitted on Lake Carlton when ice conditions permit. Fourteen miles of cross country ski trails will thrill skiing enthusiasts. The rolling hills of the park make great sledding paths if snow cooperates.