Review of Weldon Springs State Park Campground in Clinton, Illinois
May 2011 – 2 Nights
I think this park atmosphere depends on where you camp. We camped in the no pets loop, on campsite 63. The no pets loop was a nice atmosphere surrounded by woods with a little more privacy than the rest of the campground. The rest of the campground seemed to be fairly open, scattered by large trees. I’m not a huge fan of looking out my camper and seeing 30 other campsites. I did like the atmosphere of the park as a whole, though. There are a lot of things to do and you don’t have to go very far to do them. There are various day use areas and a nice lake for canoeing or fishing. We could actually see the lake through a trail right off the back of our campsite. There is a really nice veterans memorial overlooking the lake as well.
Campsite spacing was mixed depending on where you stayed. There are some sites with a lot of spacing around them and others that are very tight. I noticed some of the tight campsites’ fire pits might be right on top of the neighbors site or fire pit. We had great campsite with woods to the back and left of the site. Nobody was staying in the site to the right of us either.
Campsite quality was good. Our site had a very nice concrete ring around the fire pit and a picnic table. Most sites looked to be gravel back-in sites. Our site needed 4 to 6 inches of leveling from side to side, but I was ok with it because I liked where our site was at. I think most sites in the main loop of the park were fairly level. It looked like the sites on the out rim of the loops required a little bit more leveling.
There are many hiking trails throughout the park. We hiked the main trail that looped around the lake and part of the old farm trail that went by an old cemetery and homestead. The trail around the lake is about 2 miles and is a great trail for the family to take. Kyle, our 3 year old made it all the way around. Reid, our 1 year old made it about a quarter of the way before I put him in my child carrier backpack. You will also pass by the Veterans Memorial on the trail around the lake. The old farm trail is just a mowed path through the fields, but it is interesting to go by the old cemetery and also see the old barns around the homestead. There are also a couple other hiking loops as well that we didn’t get a chance to go on. One of them loops out to back pack campsites.
It is a very nice little lake with a zero hp limit on it. It rained most of the weekend, so we didn’t get the canoe out on the lake. There are paddle boat and jon boat rentals at the park store near the boat ramp. There is no swimming in the lake.
The lake is stocked with a variety of fish. There are many fishing access points around the lake to fish from, either on the bank or docks. We were able to walk to a bank clearing from our campsite to do some fishing. Kyle and went for a little bit and caught a nice channel catfish. We didn’t keep it, but it would have been a nice one to keep.
Great park for kids and families. There are a couple different playgrounds around the park and the trail around the lake is great for kids as well to get out and do some hiking. The paved loops around the park make it nice for kids to ride their bikes. The fishing access points make it a nice place to take the kids fishing as well.
Overall, this was a nice weekend park to visit. It was only an hour and a half drive for us and was well worth it. Since there are a couple other trails that we did not make it on, I think it would be a park that would be worth a long weekend. If the weather was nicer, we would like to have stayed another night to do some hiking on the other trails. If you are within a two hour drive, this would be a nice park to take the family to for a two or three day weekend.
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- Weldon Springs State Park Campground
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