www.dnr.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

DNR Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 IDNR Home
 IDNR Home (new)
 Agency Offices
 Disabled Outdoors
 Freedom of Information Act
 Get Involved
 Grant Info
 Great Lakes Restoration
 Hunting
 Fishing
 License / Permit / Register
 Kids & Education
 Law Enforcement
 Mandatory Safety Programs
 Lodges / Leasing
 More Links
 Outdoor Recreation
 Parks & Recreation
 Press Releases
 Publications
 State Museums
 World Shooting & Recreational Complex
 DNR A to Z

 DNR
 Illinois
Illinois Gallery Website
Enjoy Illinois

  Horseshoe Lake - State Fish & Wildlife Area (Alexander County)   

   
South Region

P.O. Box 85
Miller City, IL 62962
618-776-5689
E-mail

 


fishermen on the boat
Camping Hunting Natural Features Picnicking
The Lake      
   

As you explore the Horseshoe Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area, you may be reminded of the Deep South. The charm of bald cypress, tupelo gum, swamp cottonwood trees and wild lotus makes the recreational activities at the site even more enjoyable.

Located in Alexander County just east of Illinois Route 3, 7 miles north of Cairo, the 10,200 acre area includes a 2,400 acre shallow lake. In addition to taking in the beauty of the natural features of the area, visitors enjoy picnicking, camping, boating, fishing and hunting.

The first 49 acres of the park were purchased by the Department of Conservation in 1927 for development as a Canada goose sanctuary. Additional tracts of land, including Horseshoe Island, create the State Fish & Wildlife Area that greets visitors today.

Horseshoe Lake

With its large stands of trees around its 20 mile shoreline, Horseshoe Lake is a beautiful body of water. Since 1930, when a concrete, fixed spillway was constructed, the lake has maintained a constant 4-foot depth.

Refuge Area

Horseshoe Island, Horseshoe Lake and all areas not designated for public hunting are used to maintain waterfowl populations. A variety of food requirements are met by producing green pasture and grain crops in the refuge. Research programs, including banding, provide important information about the waterfowl. More than 50,000 birds have been trapped, banded and released through the years at Horseshoe Lake.

Natural Features

Bald cypress, tupelo gum and swamp cottonwood trees surround Horseshoe Lake and create spectacular scenery. Flora and fauna normally found in swampland much further south thrive in this setting. Visitors during fall and winter see large populations of waterfowl and bald eagles. Spring and summer guests will enjoy the vibrant colors of the foliage. Some of the most beautiful blooms are found on red buckeye shrubs in April and wild lotus in June.

Native southern hardwood forests are abundant, and two large, undisturbed tracts have been dedicated as Illinois Nature Preserves. These preserves are open to visitors, but also are used for scientific research and education.

Picnicking

Complete your visit to the "South" with a picnic at one of the four picnic areas located around the park. Each site includes picnic tables, park stoves and parking. Visitors with children might appreciate the playground located at the picnic area near the spillway.

Camping

With all the beautiful view and recreational activities at Horseshoe Lake to choose from, you may wish to stay a few days to experience them all. There are 38 Class A camping sites with electricity and showers, 40 Class B/E camping sites with electricity only, and 10 Class C sites available for overnight guests.

  • 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
E-mail
Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Interpretive Programs
State Park Magazine
Website Map
FAQ's
Visitor Comment Card
Recreation.gov

Copyrightę 2014 Department of Natural Resources
Accessibility    Contact    FAQs    Podcasts    Privacy    Social Networking