Catch the Spirit...
Fairview Drive-inThe Fairview Drive-in is located on IL Rte. 33 just minutes away from Newton. It is one of the last remaining drive-in theaters in Illinois and features two movies nightly Friday through Sunday from April 1 to September 30 each year.
Jasper County MuseumThe Jasper County Museum was established in 1965 by the Newton Woman’s Club and the Newton Public Library Board. Over the course of the years, the Museum has expanded to include many items that reflect Jasper County and its residents’ history.
Our Recreation Facilities
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Sam Parr State Fish & Wildlife AreaSam Parr, a 1,800-acre park, is surrounded by timberland and is popular with hunters and fishermen. It has a 180-acre lake, 840 huntable acres,several picnic and playground areas, a 13-mile equestrian trail and a 2-mile hiking trail, trailer camping and tent sites. Visitors will enjoy driving or walking through the park at dusk to view the many deer and other wildlife.
Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area is a 2,350-acre fish and wildlife area and is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, blue herons, ducks, geese, a family of bald eagles and the state-protected prairie chicken and river otter. The 1,775-acre lake, known for its healthy population of bass and its shoreline, are perfect for bank and boat fishing, picnicking and hiking. Besides fishing, visitors can boat or swim at the lake. There are more than 22 miles of trails that run along the lake for hiking or equestrian use as well as cross country skiing in the winter months. A five-mile mountain biking trail exists and has received many positive reviews. Hunting, wildlife observation,and picnicking are also popular activities with park visitors. Newton Lake is a power plant lake fishable year round. An abundant stock of large bass has made Newton Lake one of the premier bass fishing destinations in America. The average size bass in this lake is 3 to 5 lbs, with occasional 6 to 8 lbs being pretty common.The Prairie Ridge State Natural Area
Prairie Ridge State Natural Area is located southwest of Newton. This 3,300-acre site is unique in Illinois, dedicated to conserving the rarest members of Illinois' native tall grass prairie and marsh communities. It offers one of the most spectacular viewing opportunities for grassland wildlife in Illinois. The park is home to the largest breeding population of northern harriers and short-eared owls, as well as prairie chickens.
Robert Ridgway Nature PreserveThe Illinois Audubon Society's environmental educational area, known as the Robert Ridgway Nature Preserve, is open daily for wildlife viewing and hiking. This area has been restored to prairie and has a self guided interpretive trail and a wildlife viewing platform over- looking a wetland surrounded by native prairie plants.
Peterson Park, located on the north side of Newton along IL Rte. 130, is a wonderful community facility containing several play areas, tennis courts, a basketball court, miniature golf, batting cages, sand volleyball court and a state-of-the-art aquatic center. Peterson Park also contains two pavilions for patrons, restroom facilities and access to the Embarras River with a canoe ramp. This community facility will soon be connected to the downtown area through the implementation of the Eagle Trails & Greenways Plan and by funding provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation (ITEP Program). Click here for more information on the Newton Aquatic Center, disc golf, batting cages and miniature golf.
Earl Dufrain Park is located on Liberty Avenue in Newton. The park is surrounded by a friendly neighborhood and features a playground as well as a newly constructed skateboard park.
The Jasper County Boys and Girls Parkon Scott Avenue is home to Newton’s Babe Ruth League baseball and softball diamonds. With a total of five ball diamonds, the park hosts several state and regional softball tournaments and two national championships. It is also home to the Newton Eagles baseball games and the Lady Eagles softball games.
The City of Newton and Jasper County offer many recreational activities and venues. Yearly events include the Fall Festival, Strawberry Fest, Holly Jolly Christmas, and the Jasper County Fair. Venues include conservation areas, Peterson Park, Fairview Drive-in, Jasper County Boys and Girls Park, and the Jasper County Museum inside the Newton Public Library. The City is also working to construct Eagle Trails, a network of pedestrian and bicycle trails. The trails will provide connectivity between the City and many other visitor destinations. Click here to view the sections of Eagle Trails currently under construction.