White Pines Forest lies in the heart of Black Hawk Indian country and is rich in historic accounts of the warriors who resisted the efforts of settlers to drive them from the beloved Rock River valley. Eventually, however, the Black Hawk War forced them out and Warrior Black Hawk himself was sent into exile in the custody of his rival, Keokuk.
When early settlers arrived, they found this 700-acre forest of untouched pine extending for 1/4 mile along the east bank of Pine Creek.
With a view to preserving one of Illinois’ last stands of native white pines and one of the southernmost stands of white pines in the United States, a movement was started in the early part of the 20th Century to set the area aside as a state park. Through efforts of Ogle County nature lovers, a bill appropriating $30,000 for purchase of land was passed by the legislature in 1903, but the measure was vetoed. In 1927, however, they had more success, and the forest was acquired.
To reach White Pines Forest State Park from the Chicago Area, take Route 64 (North Avenue) west to Route 2 south in Oregon, turn left on Route 2 to Pines Road. At Pines Road, turn right and follow the signs to the park entrance, approximately 8 miles.
From the Northwest suburbs, take I-90 west to Route 20 at Rockford. Take Route 20 west to Route 2 south. You will go through Byron and continue to Oregon. In Oregon, continue to the south edge of town to Pines Road. Turn right on Pines Road and follow the signs to the Park entrance, a distance of about 8 miles.
From the north or south, take I-39 to the Oregon exit (Route 64). take Route 64 west to Oregon. You will turn left at Route 2 and continue to Pines Road. Turn right on Pines Road and go about 8 miles to the park entrance.
If you are coming from eastern or western Illinois, take Toll Road IL RT 88 to the Dixon exit (Route 26). Take Route 26 north through Dixon to Lowell Park Road. Turn right and go about 11 miles to the stop sign which is Pines Road. Turn right on Pines Road and go about one mile to the park entrance.
- While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
- At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.