Morrison Tech is blessed to sit in beautiful Scenic Northern Illinois, in Morrison Illinois. Along the northern edge of Morrison resides Rockwood State Park. Rockwood State Park sits on 1,164 heavy forested acres with two lakes and was established in 1971. The heavily wooded area and nearby Rock Creek led to the name of Rockwood. A focal point of the park is Lake Carleton. It is a watershed impoundment that was constructed in 1969 by building a 38 foot high, 1800 foot long eastern dam across a stream. The lake is named in memory of L.Carleton Anderson, a local citizen who actively participated in promoting the park and was a valued civic and conservation leader.
Rockwood State Park has something for everyone during every season. For the hunters there is a wide variety of game available to hunt: deer, turkey, duck, goose, dove and squirrel. The hunting area consists of woodlands, brushlands, grassland with corn, milo and sunflower food patches. A Hunter Fact Sheet can be found on the IDNR Website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/FactSheets/Pages/MorrisonRockwood.aspx
A unique feature of the park is a concessions facility. The store offers fishing tackle for sale, bait sale and boat rentals. You can also grab breakfast, lunch, dinner or simply an ice cream cone. The store is open 7am – 7pm, April 1st through October 1st. There are a few days they do not open so remember to call ahead.
Anglers can find a variety of fish available in Lake Carlton. The lake has an average depth of 12 feet with a maximum depth of 27 feet and provides 2.9 miles of shoreline. Stocking of the lake was completed in 1970 . Largemouth bass, black crappie, rock bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, bluegill, muskie and walleye reside in the lake.
Camping is available from May 1 through October 31.and reservations are strongly advised. Reservations must be 3-days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 180-days in advance. However, the park is open year round for camping. Reservations are not needed beginning November 1 thru April 30 – sites are a first come first serve basis. Rockwood State Park offers 59 available spots for reservation. The sites are located in heavily wooded areas and each site has electricity and a grill. Showers are also available and the building is open May 1st – October 31st.
You make secure your site at www.reservamerica.com
One of Rockwood State Park’s greatest assets are their hiking and equestrian trails. The park has 3.5 miles of dedicated hiking trails and 14 miles of equestrian trails. These trails offer many scenic views of the lake as you wind through grasslands and lush forest views. Hiking trails are rated moderate to difficult and the rolling hills keep the ratings accurate. Horse trails are rated easy with minor stream crossings and a few steep hills All trails are well marked and groomed. The horse area offers hitching posts, running water, sitting area and a restroom. Whether you are on foot or horseback, every season offers plenty of wildlife to be seen The park offers blankets of blooming wildflowers in the spring.
Need to sharpen your archery skills then look no further. Rockwood State Park has you covered with a full Archery Range.
Boating and Kayaking are also available at Rockwood State Park. You may rent a sailboat, paddleboat or kayak for a small fee at the boat rental/ concession building. You may also launch your own boat from one of the two private boat ramps for a small fee. Motors are restricted to 10hp under. All boats are to be operate under “ no wake” speeds to protect the shoreline from wake erosion.
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Rockwood offers several picnic areas that are provided with tables and outdoor stoves. Lake Carleton may be seen from several spots and provide and scenic backdrop while you eat There are two shelters at the park, with one providing a fireplace. Both shelters may be reserved for large groups or family reunions.
The park has plenty to offer in the winter time as well. You may cross country ski and snowshoe on the 14 plus miles of trails. Once Lake Carlton freezes over ice fishing on Lake Carlton and the Silt pond are a huge draw. There are several hills in the park that many use for sledding.
To learn more about Rockwood State Park visit their website, or stop by and spend the day and enjoy this treasure.
To learn more about campus life at Morrison Tech please check out our campus life website.