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20100 Hazlet Park Rd.
Carlyle, IL 62231

Special Events




Eldon Hazlet is located on the southwest side of Carlyle Lake, the largest reservoir in Illinois (26,000 acres). It is famous for its camping facilities, offering 328 class A and 36 class C campsites, the largest in the Illinois State Park system. In addition to enjoying a spectacular view of Carlyle Lake, the 800,000 or more visitors a year can choose from a number of family-oriented recreational activities which include swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, hiking, bird watching, camping, and hunting. Viewing wildlife, especially white-tailed deer, is another popular activity. The Park also shares a visitor's center with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, complete with state-of-the-art displays and a 25 seat audio-visual room for educational programs.

Leased from the U.S. Corps of Engineers since the late 1960s, the 3,000 acre site is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for the preservation of its natural and cultural resources while providing a wide range of recreational activities. Eldon Hazlet State Park is part of an overall U.S. Corps of Engineers/IDNR lake management complex containing 8 other sites and totaling over 62,400 acres of land and water.

John Bunnell, Site Interpreter
Eldon Hazlet State Park

Eldon Hazlet State Park has an extensive interpretive program, offering a great variety of nature programs and recreational activities. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, on-site programs such as guided hikes, nature programs, and recreational activities are offered every weekend. Popular activities include family movies at the park's outside amphitheater, organized volleyball and basketball tournaments, guided hikes through the restored prairie and wetland areas, and tours of the Carlyle Lake dam and visitors center. Nature programs featuring live reptiles, birds of prey, endangered species and other animals are also scheduled throughout the summer.

With advance scheduling, off-sight environmental education programs are available for school and youth groups throughout the year. If a teacher or group of people would like a program catered to meet their needs, they can call the interpreter to discuss a specific topic or program. For groups wanting to visit the park, field trips can also be scheduled. A popular activity for youth groups is camping overnight at the Osage Youth Group Camping Area and scheduling hikes and/or interpretive programs with the site interpreter during the day.

Environmental education resources and projects are also available from the interpreter for individuals working on school or scout related projects.

Points of interest at the park include 9 miles of hiking trails, a three acre restored prairie, a wetland education area, a cemetery dating back to the mid-1800's, and a youth fishing pond.

Special events such as archery clinics, youth fishing programs, field trials, and star-gazing parties are planned throughout the year.


All programs are free of charge to the public.

For more information contact Eldon Hazlet State Park at 618/594-3015

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