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  Argyle Lake - State Park   

Northwest Region

640 Argyle Park Road
Colchester, IL 62326
Sun setting over Argyle Lake
Boating Fishing Interpretive Center
Camping Hiking Picnicking
Concession History Winter Sports
Directions Horseback Riding  
Events Hunting  

Steps of trail
Fall Scene of Roadway
Boating on the Argyle Lake
Prairie Restoration Project
Icicles hanging from cliff

Known as a fisherman's delight, Argyle Lake State Park has a full complement of recreational opportunities. Just 7 miles from Macomb, Argyle Lake also offers picnicking, camping, hiking and boating facilities in a scenic, natural setting. With its 93-acre lake for boating and fishing, 5 miles of rugged foot trails through luxuriant virgin forests and full-service campgrounds, this heavily wooded, 1,700-acre site is the ideal place to spend a day, a weekend or longer.


Rich in local history, Argyle Hollow (now occupied by the lake) once was part of the stage route between Galena and Beardstown. Several times a week the high-wheeled, cumbersome coaches with their double teams of horses rumbled through these beautiful hills and valleys.

The region has been rich in coal, clay and limestone resources. Historically, individuals commonly opened and dug their own "drift mines" to supplement their income. Several limestone quarries continue to operate in the region. In 1948, the state purchased the land from local farmers and homesteaders, erected a dam to create the lake and dedicated Argyle Lake State Park to the citizens of Illinois.

Today, whether your preference is viewing wildflowers and fresh foliage in the spring, picnicking, fishing and boating in the summer, appreciating the brilliant fall colors or sledding and snowmobiling in the winter, Argyle Lake State Park is a great place to visit.


How long has it been since you've packed a picnic lunch and headed for a park? At Argyle Lake State Park there are 10 shaded picnic areas complete with tables, grills and water placed conveniently throughout the park.  A playground with swings and a slide located close to the three larger shelters keeps the children busy.  The shelters are available to reserve for family reunions, gatherings, etc. Please go to the Reserve America web site at www.reserveamerica.com to make reservations.


For longer visits, the park offers a variety of camping opportunities. The Twisted Oak campground contains 86 Class A (showers and electricity) campsites, the Big Oaks campground contains 24 Class B/E (electric only) and 18 Class C campsites (featuring vehicle access and restrooms). The Twin Oaks campground has 31 Class D (primitive) sites. A disposal station and restrooms with showers also are available.

Campground reservations are accepted, at www.reserveamerica.com

Youth Group Application

Concession and Restaurant

The Shanty Shack II is a quaint, full-service restaurant with indoor and outdoo deck seating located on the edge of beautiful Lake Argyle.  The menu features daily breakfast, lunch and dinner specials, including delicious ribeye steak specials on Saturday nights.  On the lower level of the facility, visitors will find a bait shop, boat rental services and a few general store items for people who may have forgotten a few boating or camping essentials for their trip ( including bagged ice and firewood bundles).  

For more specific menu questions or canoe and john boat rental information, please call the Shanty Shack II at (309) 776-3500.


The 5 miles of foot trails provide unparalleled scenic enjoyment. Most of the 12 trails are classified as difficult to very difficult, but Blackberry and Pitch Pine trails are rated as moderate. Be sure to look for the beaver dams along Shore Trail, as well as some of the more than 200 bird species that call Argyle Lake home.

Boating and Fishing

The lake is stocked with bluegill, redear, channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, tiger muskie and rainbow trout. A 10 horsepower motor limit exists. A public boat launch and docks are available for boats and pontoons and canoe and boat rentals are available.

Equestrian Facilities

For equestrian enthusiasts Argyle Lake offers a rugged, 7-mile equestrian trail and equestrian campground.

Hunting | Hunter Fact Sheet

Upland game hunting is allowed on a limited basis. Please check with the park office for specific dates, species and regulations. 

Events | Interpretive Programs

Argyle Lake is the site of the Argyle Antique Gas Engine Show, a festive celebration of times past. and a great way to spend Labor Day weekend. You'll see demonstrations of wheat threshing, hay baling, sawmilling, sorghum making and blacksmithing. You also can watch crafters make quilts, whittle and make rugs. In addition, hundreds of antique tractors, cars and gas engines are on display. Bargain hunters, enjoy spending time perusing the wares at the giant fleamarket.

Winter Sports

Open year-round, Argyle Lake State Park is ideally suited for ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sledding or just playing in the snow.

Surrounding Area

To find local attractions, please visit the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau


From Chicago, take Interstate 80 or Interstate 88 west to Interstate 74 South to Route 34. Take Route 34 West to Route 67 turning South on Route 136. Proceed west to Colchester. The park is 2 miles north of Colchester on Coal Road. Coal Road runs north of the Sinclair Station in Colchester.

  • While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
  • At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
  • Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
  • Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
  • We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
  • For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
  • Telecommunication Device for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175 for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.

Parks & Recreation

Illinois Dept.of Natural Resources
Office of Land Management
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
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