Located just southeast of Clinton in DeWitt County, Weldon Springs State Park is a 550-acre park for all seasons. Weldon Springs' recreational agenda is among the most comprehensive in the state park system, offering recreational opportunities year-round. During the milder seasons, you are invited to fish, boat, picnic, camp, hike, and view wildlife. Or, you might want to pitch horseshoes at the park's tournament-quality horseshoe pits. When the snow flies, hardier outdoors persons not only continue many of the warmer weather pursuits, but add sledding and tobogganing on a one-eighth mile hill, ice fishing and cross-country skiing to the itinerary of their visit.
Named by Family Circle magazine to be one of the "Top Twenty Campgrounds in America,” Weldon Springs' campground offers a quiet and friendly atmosphere for a relaxing camping experience.
The traditional Class A campground has 75 campsites with electricity, vehicular access, sanitary dumping station, shower building, cooking grills, picnic tables, pit toilets and playground equipment and water hydrants throughout the campground. Weldon Springs’ campground is open year-round; the shower building closes in the fall and reopens in the spring. Areas for tent, backpack, large group and youth camping are also available. Primitive backpack campsites are located along Salt Creek. Please call ahead for conditions, as these sites could be flooded in spring. The shower buildings are closed by November 1 (maybe earlier if bad weather persists) and reopen May 1 (maybe earlier if weather allows).
A 29-acre, spring-fed lake with two miles of shoreline dotted with bank fishing platforms and a boat launching ramp provide anglers with easy access to a fish population boasting sizeable largemouth bass, catfish, bullhead, crappie, bluegill, and sunfish. There are size and catch limits for some species. Check the fishing regulations for the site. Only electric boat motors may be used. Fishermen may rent boats at the concession stand.
In addition to eight large picnic areas, six of which have shelters, the picnic enthusiast will find small groups of tables at a number of locations throughout the park. Cooking grills or fire rings, water hydrants, toilet facilities and parking spaces are available at each picnic ground. Most of the large picnic areas also have electrical service and playground equipment. Six shelters are available on a reservation basis.
The Lakeside Self-Guiding Interpretive Trail circles the lake at Weldon Springs State Park, winding 2 miles through riparian habitat where the forest and lake communities meet. A brochure and numbered posts beside the trail interpret natural features along the way.
The Beaver Dam Trail winds 7/8 of a mile between woodland slopes, alongside the Hidden Ponds, and across and beside a small stream. This trail is ideal for a night hike - listening to frogs, insects and whip-poor-wills in spring and summer; and owls year-round.
The Old Farm Trail is a 3.1-mile mowed grass trail which takes you from the campground to the east park boundary and then through the old farm on the north end of the park. You can observe the restored prairie, old barns and farm building as well as the remnants of the old Illinois Central Railroad grade. Bicycles are permitted on this 3-mile trail unless temporarily closed due to seasonal flooding.
The Whitetail Ski Trail quickly drops into the bottomlands of Salt Creek. Birders should watch for migrating warblers, wild turkeys, and eastern bluebirds; herons, hawks and owls. The biggest tree in the park, a silver maple, grows beside the creek in the primitive campsites. Bicycles are permitted on this 3-mile trail unless temporarily closed due to seasonal flooding.
The Schoolhouse Trail is a 1.3-mile loop of the 80-box bluebird trail maintained in the park. Bluebirds can be observed from late February to October. Circling the native prairie restoration project, walkers may observe various stages of the restoration process as meadow dotted with trees becomes tall-grass prairie. More than 30 different butterfly species have been identified visiting prairie and meadow flowers. Big bluestem and Indian grass may reach heights of 6-10 feet by September.
The Salt Creek Backpack Trail provides six backpack camping sites along its route for those who prefer a more rustic setting for camping. Campers may hear the evening serenades of coyote; great-horned, barred and screech owls; whip-poor-wills and wild turkeys. White-tail deer, beaver, muskrat and mink are often seen along this trail.
Tuesday, Apr 4, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Friday, Apr 14, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Friday, Apr 21, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Central Time
AARP IL YouTube and Facebook
Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.
JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR