Doling Park

  1. What's going on in Doling Park?

    Heavy equipment and supplies are being placed west of Doling Lake for the ongoing Doling Park and Pea Ridge sanitary sewer project. In coming weeks, work in this area will include excavation of rock and soil, and installation of large diameter pipe. Work within this area of Doling Park is expected to take at least two months, but timing on this project varies based on the amount and type of rock below the surface, and weather. Any impacts to park parking or trail use will be announced.

    There is also a portion of work scheduled later for the east side of Doling Lake. Once complete, the Doling Park and Pea Ridge sanitary sewer will be able to manage larger amounts of wastewater with fewer overflows — great news for both Doling Park, where we have experienced manhole overflows, and our neighborhood. To learn more about this project, read more here.

    *** Due to safety concerns, the contractor has closed the west side parking area, in the lot closest to Giboney Cave. Please do not approach the work area or heavy machinery.

Doling Park
301 E. Talmage St.

Doling Park has been a popular picnic, caving and swimming destination for generations of Springfieldians since James Marshall Doling purchased Giboney Cave and the surrounding 40 acres in 1883. In the early 1900s, private investors added an amusement park with a roller skating rink, dance hall, bandstand, ball fields, penny arcade, boat rentals and Shoot-the-Chutes, a multi-story outdoor slide which people rode with flat-bottomed boats into Doling Lake. The Park Board purchased Doling Park in 1929, and though the amusement park was dismantled, the skating rink continued to operate through the 1960s. Today Doling Park is home to Doling Family Center, Northview Center and the Doling Museum, dedicated to the park’s colorful past. The 56-acre park also includes playground equipment, a paved walk around Doling Lake, tennis courts, ball field, picnic shelter, horseshoe pits, bocce courts and a trail head for The Link. Occasional tours of Giboney Cave are available through Outdoor Initiatives.