Morrison-Rockwood State Park is comprised of 1,164 acres, located north of Morrison in Whiteside County. It was established in 1971 and officially opened for day use that same year. The park is named for the city of Morrison and a combination of nearby Rock Creek and the heavily wooded park area--Rockwood. Lake Carlton, a focal point of the park, is a watershed impoundment constructed in 1969 by building a 38-foot high, 1,800-foot long earthen dam across a stream. The lake was named in memory of L. Carlton Anderson, a local citizen who actively promoted the park and was an important civic and conservation leader. Improvements have continued to be made in the conservation area, making it one of the most popular recreation spots in northern Illinois.
The park has an abundance of wildlife. Lucky visitors may see rabbits, squirrels, quail, pheasants, foxes, coyotes, muskrats, groundhogs or deer. Ducks and geese are seen often swimming on the lake to the delight of visitors. Bird watchers will not be disappointed at Morrison-Rockwood State Park. There are more than 150 species of birds among the plentiful stands of hardwoods.
Morrison Rockwood State Park can be reached from Chicago by taking the East-West Tollway (I-88) west to IL Rte 78. Go north on Rte. 78 thru Morrison and follow the signs. On IL Rte. 78 follow the signs to Damen Road. Take it to Crosby Road about 2 miles. Turn left on Crosby Road, again following the signs, to the park entrance in about 1.5 miles.