Walnut Point was named for Douglas County's first pioneer settlement. No longer in existence, the community was established in the 1830s about 2 miles from the park site. The park opened in 1968.
The Natural Scene
Although Walnut Point has numerous, developed recreational facilities, it still maintains many of its original natural features and attributes. Oak, hickory, maple, walnut, locust and sassafras trees dominate the park's extensive wooded acres. The park features two winding and scenic tree-lined drives for motor vehicles. The roadsides are especially beautiful in the spring when the redbuds and wildflowers bloom, while fall foliage colors are varied and spectacular. In addition, the park is home to a prairie restoration plot and a 65-acre nature preserve, Upper Embarras Woods.
Within the park are many mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Bird watchers will find good viewing for several different species of songbirds, owls and raptors. Wood ducks, herons and Canada geese also can be seen on and along the lake. Because of its natural diversity and viewing opportunities, Walnut Point is among the sites featured in the "Illinois Wildlife and Nature Viewing Guide."
The 59-acre, multi-fingered Walnut Point Lake is the focal point of the park. It is stream fed and formed by an earthen dam located on the lake's southern shore. The lake has a maximum average depth of 12.5 feet and 6.3 miles of shoreline. Except for electric trolling motors, boat motors are not allowed. Swimming is not permitted.