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Nauvoo State Park

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Museum: A house built by Mormons in the 1840s, remodeled by Icarians, and later owned by the Rheinberger family serves as the Nauvoo State Park Museum. The restored home features a wine cellar and a press room, and is the only Nauvoo wine cellar open to the public. This also is the location of Nauvoo's first vineyard, which has been producing grapes since the mid-1800s. The museum itself exhibits artifacts from all periods of Nauvoo's history, from Native American occupation to the introduction of Nauvoo Blue Cheese in the 1930s. The museum is staffed by the Nauvoo Historical Society and is open 1-5 P.M. from May 1 through October

Fishing and Boating: Lake Horton, a 13-acre manmade fishing lake, is stocked for anglers wanting to catch largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill. Although there are no boat docks or boat rentals, a primitive boat launch is available. Only electric trolling motors are allowed.

Camping: Nauvoo State Park offers 150 camping spaces, equally divided between Class A and Class B areas. A youth group area is centrally located in the park. Don't forget to ask for permission--all campers must obtain a permit for overnight camping from the park office, and groups of 25 or more must get advance permission before entering the park.

Trails: At 1.5 miles, the park's main trail, Locust Lane, shows off some of the park's best features. As the trail winds around the lake and through timbered areas, hikers can see and hear a variety of birds .Visitors also will enjoy the 3/8-mile accessible loop trail from the campground. A short trail connects the main picnic and playground area to the dam, and a short, one-way trail lead's hikers to Gilligan's Island on Lake Horton.

Picnic and Playground Areas: If picnicking is in your plans while visiting Nauvoo State Park, you're in luck. The park features two picnic and playground areas totaling 20 acres. In addition to playground equipment for kids, you'll find tables, stoves and two shelter houses, one equipped with modern toilet facilities. A ball diamond and two parking lots round out the list of amenities.

Plant and Animal Life: 4-acre plot of land adjacent to the site superintendent's residence has been converted into a natural area. Four kinds of prairie grasses and approximately 10 kinds of prairie flowers are grown here. If you're visiting here in the spring, you may find the area burnt to a crisp--that's because the grasses must be burned periodically to help the prairie renew itself. Deer, skunk, opossum and raccoon are among the animals that call Nauvoo State Park home. Cardinals and goldfinches find this spot on the Mississippi a perfect place to nest, as do geese and ducks. The welcome mat is especially out for wood ducks, who will nest just about anywhere. Look for their boxes 15 to 20 feet up in the trees around Lake Horton and in the posted and protected area across from the park's extreme south edge.

Winter Sports: Sledding is permitted on the slopes adjacent to the dam of Lake Horton. Cross-country skiing is allowed along the trails when snow cover is adequate. Note that the modern restrooms are closed during winter months, as is the museum.

Information

On the banks of the Mississippi River, the 148-acre park, includes a 13-acre lake with a mile-long shoreline. In addition to fishing, boating, camping and hiking, people return to these serene surroundings for events and history.

Museum: A house built by Mormons in the 1840s, remodeled by Icarians, and later owned by the Rheinberger family serves as the Nauvoo State Park Museum. The restored home features a wine cellar and a press room, and is the only Nauvoo wine cellar open to the public. This also is the location of Nauvoo's first vineyard, which has been producing grapes since the mid-1800s. The museum itself exhibits artifacts from all periods of Nauvoo's history, from Native American occupation to the introduction of Nauvoo Blue Cheese in the 1930s. The museum is staffed by the Nauvoo Historical Society and is open 1-5 P.M. from May 1 through October

Fishing and Boating: Lake Horton, a 13-acre manmade fishing lake, is stocked for anglers wanting to catch largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill. Although there are no boat docks or boat rentals, a primitive boat launch is available. Only electric trolling motors are allowed.

Camping: Nauvoo State Park offers 150 camping spaces, equally divided between Class A and Class B areas. A youth group area is centrally located in the park. Don't forget to ask for permission--all campers must obtain a permit for overnight camping from the park office, and groups of 25 or more must get advance permission before entering the park.

Trails: At 1.5 miles, the park's main trail, Locust Lane, shows off some of the park's best features. As the trail winds around the lake and through timbered areas, hikers can see and hear a variety of birds .Visitors also will enjoy the 3/8-mile accessible loop trail from the campground. A short trail connects the main picnic and playground area to the dam, and a short, one-way trail lead's hikers to Gilligan's Island on Lake Horton.

Picnic and Playground Areas: If picnicking is in your plans while visiting Nauvoo State Park, you're in luck. The park features two picnic and playground areas totaling 20 acres. In addition to playground equipment for kids, you'll find tables, stoves and two shelter houses, one equipped with modern toilet facilities. A ball diamond and two parking lots round out the list of amenities.

Plant and Animal Life: 4-acre plot of land adjacent to the site superintendent's residence has been converted into a natural area. Four kinds of prairie grasses and approximately 10 kinds of prairie flowers are grown here. If you're visiting here in the spring, you may find the area burnt to a crisp--that's because the grasses must be burned periodically to help the prairie renew itself. Deer, skunk, opossum and raccoon are among the animals that call Nauvoo State Park home. Cardinals and goldfinches find this spot on the Mississippi a perfect place to nest, as do geese and ducks. The welcome mat is especially out for wood ducks, who will nest just about anywhere. Look for their boxes 15 to 20 feet up in the trees around Lake Horton and in the posted and protected area across from the park's extreme south edge.

Winter Sports: Sledding is permitted on the slopes adjacent to the dam of Lake Horton. Cross-country skiing is allowed along the trails when snow cover is adequate. Note that the modern restrooms are closed during winter months, as is the museum.

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