Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton

#45 of 76 in Nature in Illinois
Must see · State Park · Park
Weldon Springs State Park is a 550acre state park located near Clinton, Illinois. It centers on Salt Creek and the impoundment of a tributary, Weldon Springs, to form Weldon Spring Lake, a reservoir. It is supervised by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.Geology and ecologyWeldon Springs is an unusual spring in the relatively flat Grande Prairie of central Illinois. The spring is a local reminder of the former presence of an immense buried river valley, the Teays River, once as large as the Mississippi River. Glacial till left behind during the Ice Age buried the valley and its bedrock bluffs below the current earth surface, but much later flows of groundwater were forced by this buried geological feature to the surface. Weldon Springs became a wetland with some of the northernmost bald cypress trees in Illinois.HistoryIn the 1800s, Weldon Springs was the fishing camp of a leading local citizen, Judge Lawrence Weldon. In 1900, Judge Weldon leased the springs to the Weldon Springs Company, which raised $7,500 to redevelop the springs as a Chautauqua. From 1901 until 1921, Weldon Springs - which was served by a branch line of the Illinois Central Railroad - was a recognized stop on the Chautauqua circuit; for ten days annually, inspirational speakers and entertainers took top billing on the spring garden's outdoor amphitheatres. National leaders who appeared at Weldon Springs included William Jennings Bryan, Helen Keller, Carrie Nation, the Rev. Billy Sunday, and President William Howard Taft.
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Weldon Springs State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
35 reviews
  • We have come here several times. But didn't realize they had such a great hiking trail, where there is a abandoned farm.  more »
  • I like to go on hiking trips, and Weldon Springs is a great place to train. It's hard to find hills in Central Illinois, but you can experience them around the lake. The park fell into some...  more »
  • One of my favorite hiking spots! Not strenuous, hardly ever many people here, and the trails are easily visible. There are some nice sights to see as well, like the Old Faithful fountain (see pic).
  • My boys had fun blue gill fishing off the dock. Made it easy with very few snags. The blue gills loved the wax worms.

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