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 beaver are 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 in the early 1890s, when 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 ranger residence. One mile northeast of the hotel existed a cluster of houses and a railroad stop known as Macoupin Station. Trains 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 acres.
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, foxes, raccoons, grey squirrels, wild turkeys, hawks, owls and woodpeckers. The park also is a home for snakes, frogs and insects. White squirrels, which are not albinos but a white-color phase of the grey squirrel, are periodically seen within the park boundaries. Some 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 also are commonly seen.
14548 Beaver Dam Lane
Plainview, Illinois 62685
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