Submitted by:Prospect

Beaver Dam State Park


14548 Beaver Dam Lane
Plainview, Illinois 62685

dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r4/beaver.htm

217.854.8020


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We were only able to explore a portion of this state park.  Although we covered about 5 miles while here, this dog hopes to return and finish walking more of the hiking trail system.

 

We were obviously visiting during the off-season as both the visitor center and restaurant were closed.  Fortunately, outside the restaurant was posted a map of the hiking trails.  Although The Chauffeur's memory is not photogenic, we were able to figure out 3 hiking loops to follow and not get lost.

 

This is obviously a popular fishing spot among the locals.  Many fisherman were enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Prospect's SignatureVisited November 9, 2010  2:00pm

Beaver Dam State Park


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Beaver Dam State Park


Lake Trail

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The 1.75 mile trail around the lake is basically flat (especially for us dogs used to hiking in the Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri).  There are some washed out places but nothing that presents a big obstacle for the casual hiker.

Marsh Trail

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On the Marsh Trail we made about a 3/4 mile loop.  The trail system offers more hiking, but we were getting short on time and also encountered some closed portions.  There are several entrances to this trail from the West Dam area, but we found easy access from the Archery Range parking lot.

Campground Trail

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From the West Dam area to the campground there is a trail path that forms about a 2/3 mile loop.  We walked this path clockwise, going up the west side and back down the east side.  We were glad we did.  While the west side was a constant incline, as we left the campground we descended down a very steep hill on the east side.  After that descent, the east side was relatively flat.

Beaver Dam State Park

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Rough Spot (Lake Trail)


This is example of a washed-out area.  This is example of "roughest" terrain.  See Images.

Bridge & Lake Views (Lake Trail)


Mostly on the south side, there are 6-8 foot bridges keeping the trail flat across the branches flowing into the lake.

The East Dam (Lake Trail)


On the images tab are several photos near the east dam including a school of small fish.

Picnic Peninsula


On the north side is a peninsula that is perfect for a picnic.  Signs reminders about keeping dogs on leash suggest there is not a problem with dogs in this picnic area.

Picnic Table Overhang


Near the north end of the West Dam is a neat picnic area where the table is on an overhang over the lake.

West Dam Area


The West Dam area includes the restaurant, boat launch, archery range, and parking.

Trailhead (Marsh Trail)


We accessed the Marsh Trail from the Archery Range parking lot (short walk from the West Dam).

Long Foot Bridge (Marsh Trail)


With the foot bridges on the lake trail and then this very cool long walkway / bridge, we get the impression that maintenance of trails at Beaver Dam State Park is priority.

Views (Marsh Trail)


Many great vistas along the Marsh Trail.  We saw lots of birds and water fowl.

Overflow (Marsh Trail)


The overflow is a rough and rocky patch about 20 feet wide.  This is the only rough patch we encountered on the Marsh Trail but the trail quickly returns to a well maintained path.  We guess that after a heavy rain there may be some flowing water here.

CLOSED (Marsh Trail)


Here, the portion of the trail system continuing north was closed.  We look forward to returning and exploring this portion of the trail.

Lookout Deck (Marsh Trail)


A Lookout Deck provides great views across the marsh.  Informational signs educated us about the difference between a marsh and a swamp.

Campground


The campground had several water pumps throughout and seemed very well maintained.

Steep Hill (Campground Trail)


The east side of the Campground Trail has a very steep hill.  To the south of this incline and the foot bridge the ground is relatively flat.  At top of the hill there was a log over the path.

Beaver Dam State Park


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