The shores of this 1,750-acre lake is lined with forests and colorful bluffs. National forest land encompasses the south end of the lake and provides one of the most tranquil water settings in the Shawnee National Forest.
The clear blue waters beckon all types of water activities with fishing, kayaking, paddling and swimming (north end only) being the most popular. During the winter and spring is a great time of year to view the sheer bluff along the shores. In autumn the fall colors are spectacular. The extensive trail system leads hikers and equestrians through lush forests and to bluffs overlooking the lake.
At a Glance
|Area Amenities:||Accessible, Boat ramp, Tent camping, Toilets, Parking|
|Closest Towns:||Murphysboro, IL 62966|
|Information Center:||Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District (618) 833-8576|
From Murphysboro: Take Highway 127 south 10 miles to Boat Dock Road. Turn east (left) onto Boat Dock Rd., continue 0.8 mile to the trailhead.
From Jonesboro: Take Highway 146 west 2.5 miles, to Hwy 127, then north 12 miles on Hwy 127 to Boat Dock Road. Turn east (right) onto Boat Dock Rd., continue 0.8 mile to the trailhead.
Primitive camping is allowed up to 14-days continuous stay. Set up campsite at least 150 feet from trails, trailheads and lakes or streams. Drown campfires completely and naturalize your campsite by practicing Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics.
A public swimming beach located on the north end of the lake is administered by the city of Carbondale.
Boat Launch and parking is located at the end of Boat Dock Road (see brochure/map).
Watercraft Motor Restrictions: 10 horsepower limit
- 2 pole & line fishing only
- Lg./Smallmouth bass or spotted bass -15” min.
- Channel Catfish – Daily limit = 6
- For site specific regulations or to obtain a fishing license go to Illinois fishing regulations.
Parking lot located at end of Boat Dock Road accommodates boat and horse trailers. Overnight parking is allowed. Other Trailheads have limited parking.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Lake and Pond Fishing
Big Game Hunting
Small Game Hunting
Boating - Motorized
Boating - Non-Motorized
|Parking:||boat and horse trailer|
|Accessible:||vault toilet is accessible|
|Boat ramp:||Small boats, canoes, kayaks|