Beaver Dam State Park
Beaver Dam Lane
Plainview, Illinois 62685
Located in Macoupin County 7 miles southwest of
Carlinville and situated in an oak/hickory woodland,
Beaver Dam State Park offers a variety of
recreational opportunities on its 750 acres.
Fishing, picnicking, hiking, and tent and trailer
camping are among the most popular activities.
Although the beaver is virtually gone from this
area, the park is named for a beaver dam that
created its lake.
The lake became a well-known fishing spot when in
the early 1890s, 18 men from the Carlinville area
formed a Beaver Dam Lake Club. They spent $2,500 to
build a dam at each end of the lake and double the
water depth. For a number of years the club held
summer and fall picnics at the lake. Their families
enjoyed fishing and boating throughout the season.
The area then became the property of the family of
Mrs. Sarah Rhodes, who for some time operated a
small hotel which stood on the site of the present
One mile northeast of the hotel existed a cluster
of houses and a railroad stop known as Macoupin
Station. Trails stopping here were met by a large
horse-drawn coach which took guests to the hotel.
With the advent of the automobile, however, this
transit business disappeared and the hotel was
closed. The initial land acquisition for Beaver Dam
State Park was 425 acres in 1947. Additional land
purchases have increased the park to a total of 751
The combination of upland and bottomland woods,
farmland, open fields, a lake and a marsh combine to
provide habitat for many kinds of animals. A quiet
walker may discover deer, fox, raccoons, grey
squirrels, wild turkeys, hawks, owls and
woodpeckers. The park is also a home for snakes,
frogs and insects. White squirrels, which are not
albinos, but rather a white-color phase of the grey
squirrel, are periodically seen within the park
ome different types of songbirds which enrich the
natural setting are bluebirds, orioles, finches,
cardinals, titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, peewees
and cuckoos. Waterfowl and shorebirds are found
seasonally in the park. Pileated woodpeckers are
also commonly seen.
The trailer camping area has electricity at each
pad and a sanitary dump station. A shower building
with flush toilets is located in the center of the
trailer camping area. Water is available in the
area, but there are no water hookups at each site.
All campsites are first come first serve.
Tent camping is in a separate area, with nearby
rest rooms and water. A designated area for
youth-group camping, such as Boy or Girl Scouts,
features rest rooms, water, fire pads and picnic
tables. When youth groups plan to use the area, the
site superintendent�s office should be notified in
advance by calling (217) 854-8020 to make a
reservation for the group camping area.
All camping is situated in wooded areas with
large oak and hickory trees, which provide shade
throughout most of the day. Located next to the
shower house is a new Rent A Cabin available for
reservation by calling the park office. Only the
Rent-A-Cabin is available for reservation, all
campsites are first come first serve. The park does
not rent tents.
There is one large section of the park available
for picnicking. Picnic tables and barbecue grills
are provided, or picnickers may bring their own
grills. Four pavilions are located in the picnic
area and can be reserved, contact the site for
The concession stand on the lake is open from
April through mid-October each year. Food, picnic
supplies, live bait, tackle, boat rentals and
fishing licenses are available.
The park contains a 59-acre lake, which has a
maximum depth of 10 feet and 1.7 miles of shoreline.
Over the years the lake has been stocked with
largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish and channel
catfish. A free boat launch and docks are available
for public use. No gasoline engines are allowed,
only electric trolling motors. Check the information
display for daily catch and size limits.
Approximately 8 miles of hiking trails are found
in the park. These trails encircle the lake, lead
past the marsh, and extend through various wooded
areas in the park.
One set of playground equipment is located in the
An archery range is located across from the
concession and may be used free of charge. Archers
must bring their own bow and arrows. Broadhead
Points are not allowed. All archers under 16 years
of age must be accompanied by an adult.
When conditions are suitable, ice fishing and ice
skating are permitted. Adequate snow cover permits
cross-country skiing and sledding.
Spring Turkey, Archery Deer, Furbearer Trapping,
and Squirrel hunting is available at Beaver Dam
during the regulated seasons. For more information
please review our Hunter Fact Sheet | Archery Deer
Directions to the Park
Take Rt. 108 west which is located 24 miles south
of Springfield on I-55. Go 11 miles west to
Carlinville. Travel on 108 west through Carlinville
to the Amtrak Station. Turn left (south) and go 7
miles to Beaver Dam.
Take Rt. 16 west located at the Litchfield turn
off on I-55. Go to Shipman. On the west side of
Shipman take Carlinville Road 7 miles to Beaver Dam.
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