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John T. McNaughton Park

McNaughton Park is located on approximately 700 acres of beautiful woodland and meadows, bordered by Route 98 on the north, Sheridan Road on the South, McNaughton Park Road on the east and Parkway Drive on the west. The land supports about 15 species of animals, 80 species of birds and a wide spectrum of plant life. A large portion of this park is within the Land and Water Reserve by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

View Map of McNaughton Park

Deer, fox, muskrat and beaver are just a few of the animals that inhabit the park. Items of interest along the Potawatomi Trail are a small waterfall, an old cemetery and the "Dirksen Swimming Hole" (a spot where the late Senator Everett Dirksen swam with boyhood friends). Wildflowers abound this park in the spring. Careful and close observation will yield unusual and sometimes rare species of flowers like the showy orchids.

The Potawatomi Trail (indicated by RED) is approximately 7 miles in length.The trail begins and ends at the Totem Pole located behind the horse stables. The average hiking time is 4 hours. The trail is shared by hikers and mountain bikers, and in parts by horse back riders. Users will discover "short cuts" and "alternate trails" used mainly by mountain bikers and horse back riders. To keep from becoming lost, please stay on marked main trail (indicated in RED) until you become more familiar with the park.

The Potawatomi Trail was originally developed in the summer of 1970 and completed in the spring of 1971 through the combined efforts of John and Betty Yentes, T-P Hikers, Boy Scout Troop 194 and the Pekin Park District. Through the early 1990's John and Betty Yentes volunteered as trail guides and helped maintain the trail. Potawatomi means "we are making fire". The tribe of Potawatomi Indians lived in the Lick Creek bottoms from 1718 until 1837. The Potawatomi Indians were close to the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes; they called themselves the "three fires". Other tribes living in the area were the Peoria, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, Cahoka and the Tomaroa.

The park also contains two lakes, several teepee shelters, an 18-hole professional Frisbee golf course and a public / private horse stable. Public trail rides are available through the Rockin' P Stables.

Note: Horse back riders from outside of the park must first check in and pay fees at the Rockin' P Stables - prior to using the park. All horses are limited to trails indicated with orange markers.

Parking is available at several points including: at the stables, off of McNaughton Park Road from Lake Zuercher to the turn around, off Route 98 near the Archery Range and on Sheridan Road in the parking area south of Lick Creek. Visitors are reminded to secure their vehicles and belongings while parking.

Tent camping is allowed by camping permit only, in the camping area that is west of the Totem pole near the Comfort Station as indicated on the map. You may request a camping permit by visiting the Recreation Office or clicking the camping permit link and returning it to the Recreation Office at least 7 days prior to your requested date. Camping is allowed only if the permit is approved.

Full color (Potawatomi) patches are available at the Recreation office located in Mineral Springs Park.

Contact numbers:

Park Recreation

(309) 347-7275

Park Maintenance

(309) 346-3810

Park Police

(309) 353-7220 (office)


(309) 346-3132 (dispatch)



The following acts are prohibited:

  1. Hunting (bank fishing is allowed in Lake Zuercher and Lake Butterfield – ice fishing is allowed on Lake Butterfield only)
  2. Possession of Alcohol
  3. Littering / Dumping
  4. Disturbing Animals or Plant Life
  5. Cutting of Trees or Shrubs
  6. Motorized vehicles outside of designated areas
  7. Fires in areas not designated
  8. Being in Park Before or After Posted Hours (6am – 10pm)

1701 Court Street | Pekin, Illinois 61554 | 309-347-PARK (7275)

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