Morrison Journals

Morrison-Rockwood State Park is Heaven on Earth

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A May 2006 trip to Morrison by MCJ graduate

Equestrian Area Photo, More Photos
Quote: This park is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. It has camping, fishing, trails, wildlife, etc.

Morrison-Rockwood State Park is Heaven on Earth

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Overview

Equestrian Area Photo,
Quote:
Morrison-Rockwood State Park is a quaint park located north of Morrison, IL in Whiteside County. This park consists of 1,150 acres. It came into being in 1971. This park received its combo name after the city named Morrison, the nearby Rock Creek and the dense wooded park area called Rockwood. Its main feature is Lake Carlton.The highlights of our trip here were dining, visiting the marina/tackle shop, investigating the campground area, the equestrian area, the trails, and fishing.We had a delightful experience eating at this place. The restaurant provided for a small town flavor with a home cooked taste. In addition, you dine overlooking Lake Carlton. You can actually watch people...Read More

Morrison Rockwood Restaurant

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Restaurant

Morrison Rockwood Restaurant Photo,
Quote:
This restaurant is located in what is called the concession building at Morrison-Rockwood State Park. Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Norton are the owners of the restaurant and the bait and tackle shop here. Chuck is a retired engineer.While we were there, Chuck greeted us to his restaurant. We quickly noticed that this eatery was a local hang out. Then we saw that it was a short order type of eatery. You had the option of dining where the food was cooked or dining in a more formal dining area that overlooked Lake Carlton. We were taken to the more formal area by a server.We were seated and then given menus. The food they prepare here can best be summed up as American fare. For instance...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Morrison Rockwood Restaurant
Morrison Rockwood State Park
Morrison, Illinois 61270
(815) 772-3613

Morrison Rockwood Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Morrison Rockwood Restaurant, Part II"

Quote:
The dining experience here was modest, yet delightful! I mean, there were no tablecloths of any kind. If you ordered a meal in a basket, it was served in a plastic basket with a wax like paper underneath it. Your silverware was clean but wrapped in a paper napkin. However, the waiting service was fast and efficient. Along with this, the food we ordered was fresh, tasty, and just enough to fill your hunger. In addition, we enjoyed watching people fish on the docks, while we were eating. We could see families with young children trying to catch crappies and bluegills. And we could actually hear the children (our dining area had a screened-in-like porch) complained to their mothers and fathers their fish...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Morrison Rockwood Restaurant
Morrison Rockwood State Park
Morrison, Illinois 61270
(815) 772-3613

Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park

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Attraction

Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park Photo, Morrison, Illinois
Quote:
As aforementioned in the overview of this journal, this park’s camping facilities are sure to please people who adore the outdoors. It has 92 Class A campsites complete with accessible toilets and a fairly new shower house. The shower building with flush toilets is available from May 1 through October 31. Each site also has a grill and a table too. Campsites are located in either the dense wooded areas or near a large playground. In addition, there is a trailer dump station near the entrance of the campground, along with a dumpster to get rid of any and all garbage.In 2003, this park put in a new water system. This allowed greater water availability and provided for spigots at all latrines a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park
18750 Lake Rd.
Morrison, Illinois 61270
(815) 772-4708

Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park

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Attraction | "Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park, Part II"

Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park Photo, Morrison, Illinois
Quote:
What I found out later while investigating this camping area, is that if a person(s) violate any of the camping rules he or she is subject to have their campground permit revoked or can even be arrested. I think this is a good idea to help deter any violation of the camping rules. When we drove through this campground we were amazed at how clean it was. Overall, the campsites were kept tidy by the majority of the people that were here. In addition, if you have children you can have a campsite that is near a large playground for them. And if you'd rather be located in a more wooded area to see perhaps the various wildlife here ( rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, foxes, coyotes, muskrats, groundh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Camping at Morrison-Rockwood State Park
18750 Lake Rd.
Morrison, Illinois 61270
(815) 772-4708

Equestrian Trails and Trail Guides

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Attraction

Equestrian Trails and Trail Guides Photo,
Quote:
When we were at this park on May 7, 2006, we got a chance to see equestrians with their beloved horses. They were taking advantage of the sunny weather that day to ride on the trails that are provided by Morrison-Rockwood State Park. What is nice about this place, is it has 14 miles of horseback riding trails. And if you are a novice trail rider, don’t worry. This park has all its trails noticeably marked for easy navigation. In addition, they are all maintained for effortless travel. Along with this, this park has a complete equestrian area, which is located away from most of the rest of the park. It has trailer parking, a water hole, a new shelter, hitching posts, restrooms, and an overnight camping...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Equestrian Trails and Trail Guides
18750 Lake Rd.
Morrison, Illinois 61270
(815) 772-4708

Fishing at Lake Carlton

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Attraction

Fishing at Lake Carlton Photo, Morrison, Illinois
Quote:
When you are a boat less angler (like myself and my partner), you can always rely on shore fishing. Although most of the fishing is done in Lake Carlton here, there is also a silt basin available for fishing. Lake Carlton has an average depth of 12 feet, with a maximum depth of 27 feet. For us shore anglers, the lake has around 2.9 miles of shore to fish from and over nine piers. This lake is periodically stocked in order to provide a big range of fish. The fish include the following: Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, Rock Bass, Channel Catfish, Redar Sunfish, Bluegill, Muskie, and Walleye.The following are the regulation sizes and daily limits for fish species caught at Lake Carlton:...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Fishing at Lake Carlton
18750 Lake Rd.
Morrison, Illinois 61270

Fishing at Lake Carlton

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Attraction | "Fishing Lake Carlton, Part II"

Fishing at Lake Carlton Photo, Morrison, Illinois
Quote:
Concerning bass fishing, we both tried several times(like many other anglers did that day) to catch a certain bass that was protecting her nest in shallow water. Sharon and I both actually hooked this bass but it got off before we could land it.Sharon hooked it on a red color ,wide gap hook, size 4 made by Eagle Claw with a minnow, but it got off. It shook its head back and forth and spit the hook out. Then later, I tried to catch her with the same type of rig. While I was bringing her in, she did the common acrobatic move that bass do and jumped up in the air and got off. Finally, two hours later a young man (in his early 20s) caught this bass on a small rooster tail, which is a lure used...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Fishing at Lake Carlton
18750 Lake Rd.
Morrison, Illinois 61270

Morrison Rockwood Marina

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Attraction

Morrison Rockwood Marina Photo,
Quote:
As aforementioned, Chuck Norton and his wife own and run this marina and the restaurant at Morrison-Rockwood State Park. They do not own the building (state owns that), but the businesses they do.I had the pleasure to meet and talk with Mr. Norton about his businesses, especially the marina/bait and tackle shop. He is a joy to visit with, a retired engineer that started these businesses.When I first entered this store, I noticed a fair-sized muskie adorning one of the walls. I of course, had to ask who caught this trophy-sized fish. Mr. Norton told me that the 40-inch tiger muskie was one of the causalities from several years ago. He proceeded to say that DNR several years ago shocked ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Morrison Rockwood Marina
Morrison-Rockwood - State Park
Morrison, Illinois 61270
(815) 772-3613

Morrison Rockwood Marina

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Attraction | "Morrison Rockwood Marina, Part II"

Morrison Rockwood Marina Photo,
Quote:
While I was touring Mr. Norton’s small bait and tackle store, I noticed he had an adequate supply of general tackle (hooks for bass, catfish, crappies, etc., and bobbers), and fish supplies ( such as minnow buckets). However, considering people fish for muskies (a very large, toothed, predator fish) here, he did not have what is called a quick hit harness. It consists of two treble hooks with a bobber. I was disappointed in not seeing this. However, he assured me he did have steel leaders for the muskies. But that was not what I was interested in, since I do fish for muskies with the quick hit harness. However, he did have muskie bait available. Although his sucker stock, was a lot smaller...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2006

Morrison Rockwood Marina
Morrison-Rockwood - State Park
Morrison, Illinois 61270
(815) 772-3613

About the Writer

MCJ graduate

MCJ graduate
German Valley, Illinois