Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area

Quick Facts

Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area

Illinois

(618) 783-2661

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

For several decades the residents of Jasper County worked for a state park, assisted and encouraged by a former resident and conservationist, Sam Parr. In 1960, 72 acres of land were acquired by the Department of Natural Resources and the Jasper County Conservation Area became a reality. Additional acquisitions have brought the total acreage to 1,180, including a 183-acre lake. After the death of Sam Parr in 1966, the General Assembly changed the name from Jasper County to Sam Parr. The site was formally dedicated on May 12, 1972. It is 3 miles northeast of Newton.

As in most of Illinois, the early inhabitants of this area were Indians. For nearly 1,000 years they fished and lived along the Embarrass River and hunted in nearby woodlands, including what is now Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area. The 1770s brought the French and the westward expansion of the American colonists, who pushed the Indians westward into Illinois in search for new lands. The Piankashaw finally settled in this area and they lived in comparative peace with the French who lived with them, adapting many of their ways. General Harrison from Vincennes, Indiana, negotiated a treaty with the Piankashaws in 1812, whereby they gave up nearly one million acres of land to the United States Government, including what is now Jasper county. There were about 140 Piankashaw Indians left in the area.

The dam built in 1971, impounds a 183-acre lake. The maximum depth is 28 feet and the shoreline is 9 miles. The lake is nestled in a rolling timbered area and has attracted nesting wood ducks. The lake contains largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish and bullhead. Two launching ramps are located on the west side of the lake.

Map of Sam Parr State Fish & Wildlife Area (IL)

Latitude, Longitude: 39.012248, -88.120308

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boats with maximum 10 hp motors are allowed on the lake, and canoes are popular. Boat dock rentals are available. Fishing access and parking is also available on the east side of the lake via a county road. Two launching ramps are located on the west side of the lake.

  • Camping

    Class B/E, C & D, and Youth camping are available.

  • Fishing

    The lake contains largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish and bullhead. The lake contains largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish and bullhead.

  • Hiking

    There are more than two miles of foot trails in the area.

  • Historic Sites

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Horseback Riding

    There is around thirteen miles of equestrian trails in the area.

  • Hunting

    Check with the site manager for upland game species and hunting dates.

  • Picnicking

    Facilities at Sam Parr include four picnic areas for day use and shelters in all areas.

  • RVing

    Please contact park services for more information.

Directions

Driving

From the north: Follow Rt. 130 south to Rt. 33 east. Turn east on Rt. 33 and go one mile to park entrance.

From the south: Follow Rt. 130 north to Rt 33 east. Turn east on Rt. 33 and go one mile to park entrance.

From the west: Follow Rt. 33 east from Effingham 25 miles to park entrance. (2 mile east of Newton).

From the east: Follow Rt. 33 west 21 mile from Robinson to park entrance.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(618) 783-2661

Links