Morrison-Rockwood State Park provides plenty of space to wander for hours across its 1,150 acres. The primary feature of Morrison-Rockwood State Park is the picturesque Lake Carlton. The lake is a stream-fed reservoir which was constructed in 1969 by building a 38-foot high, 1,800-foot long earthen dam across the stream. Almost 3 miles of shoreline provide plenty of lake views.
The 14 mile equestrian trail starts on the southwest corner of the park at a pavilion built for equestrians. The horse trail travels through forest before passing between views of both Lake Carlton and Silt Basin. Two trail options diverge allowing you to follow either the old road/ski trail or to continue along the lake front for awhile longer. The trails converge to the north of the campground before passing by the youth group area. A restroom stop is available at the campgrounds and the youth group area. The horse trail continues to follow the park boundary and on the east side offers multiple large circular offshoots from the main horse trail for further adventures. These trails provide opportunities to explore forest, field, or prairie. Food plots are planted throughout the park for hunters. If you choose the right trail you might be treated to a field of sunflowers. The furthest eastern horse trails follow Rock Creek for several miles providing plenty of opportunities to water your horse. For a unique horse training experience, there are equestrian trails that skirt the edge of the Rockford Field-Remote Control Airstrip. The trails finish the loop by passing through the wilderness woods filled with hickory, ash, oak and walnut trees. Additional opportunities for bathroom breaks at established restrooms are available at wilderness woods picnic shelter and just across the road at shady knoll before returning to the facilities with restrooms at the equestrian staging area.
Plenty of wildlife calls Morrison-Rockwood State Park home. While on your horse ride, keep an eye out for rabbits, squirrels, quail, pheasants, foxes, coyotes, muskrats, groundhogs or deer. Ducks and geese are plentiful on the lake and over 150 species of birds have been identified in the forests of Morrison-Rockwood State Park.
If you work up an appetite or forgot to pack a picnic, a concession stand is open seasonally at the boat launch.
Morrison-Rockwood is a great escape from the Quad cities right at a one hour drive but feels like a world away with its varied terrain, abundant wildlife, and numerous amenities.