Gebhard Woods State Park was originally purchased from Mrs. William Gebhard by the Grundy County Rod and Gun Club in 1934 for of $1,500. A game fish rearing pool was developed on the property by the club, who in turn donated the property to the state to be developed and maintained as Gebhard Woods State Park. Members of the Brandon-Morris Civilian Conservation Corps were employed by the U.S. Department of the Interior to clear and landscape this newly formed state park. The CCC developed two additional spawning pools for game fish, interior trails, a large shelter of hand-hewn beams with flagstone flooring, two small log shelters complete with fireplaces, a sheltered resting bench and a large stone fireplace.
Songbirds, mallards, wood ducks, green herons and great blue herons can be observed as they feed or nest in the park and along the canal banks. Beaver, muskrat, mink, raccoon and an occasional deer also call Gebhard Woods their home. The restored Nettle Creek stone aqueduct was originally built to carry the canal over Nettle Creek and it not only adds to the park’s beauty, but to the rich history of the area. A short hike to the aqueduct, and with a smidgen of imagination, one can almost envision a team of mules pulling a canal barge full of goods across this historic structure.
From Rte. 47 in Morris, turn west on Jefferson St (Jefferson will turn into Freemont St. a few blocks down). Continue on Freemont St. to Ottawa St, turn left on Ottawa St. and the park is located approximately a block and a half down on the left hand side.