In east central Illinois--just
minutes from Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Effingham and surrounding
communities--the Eagle Creek/Wolf Creek sites, facing each other across
the central portion of Lake Shelbyville, provide the perfect setting for
outdoor recreation, natural relaxation and luxurious accommodations for
a day, a weekend, or even longer.
Four miles southeast of Findlay,
the Shelby County sites encompass 11,100-acres of water, 250 miles of shoreline and
large tracts of carefully maintained indigenous woodland ideal for camping,
hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, fishing, water skiing, pontoon
boating, windsurfing or just plain bobbing and drifting on the glittering
expanse of the lake.
In addition to the small,
friendly, wooded campgrounds and the action on the lake, large herds of
deer frequent these areas and always are an exciting and inspiring sight.
Portions of the park have
been cleared of physical barriers and are accessible to disabled visitors.
Like many other such areas,
the Eagle Creek/Wolf Creek sites are perfect examples of the potential
benefits of natural resource management. As a means of flood control,
water supply and downstream water quality control, the Flood Control Act
of 1958 authorized the Shelbyville Reservoir Project, which involved construction
of a dam and creation of a lake. These practical necessities, however,
also would allow for the actual conservation of fish and wildlife and
the development of areas for exciting and varied recreational opportunities.
It was, of course, a monumental
undertaking. Before work on the dam at Shelbyville could begin,
several old mines had to be completely filled in, cemeteries
in the path of the planned lake had to be relocated, two gas and oil pipelines
and roads rerouted, the old Shelby Power Plant demolished and land cleared
and leveled on the west side of the channel which hugs the bluff to the
east of the river bottom. Construction of this $56 million project began
in May of 1963.
The dam is an earthen
embankment towering 110 feet above the original stream bed. Its
3,025 feet long with a reinforced concrete, gate-controlled spillway to
manipulate the water level and manage the 25,300 acres of its flood control
Most of this work was done
by the United States Army Corps
of Engineers, and since 1968the land has been managed by the State of Illinois
on a long-term lease from the federal government.
By 1972, the area offered the public providing primitive camping facilities.
In the years since then, the State has purchased surrounding
lands and made extensive campground, boat launch, day-use
area and hiking trails improvements making this a beautiful, well-tended and well-managed
The Eagle Creek State Recreation
Area, a 2,200-acre site on the west side of Lake Shelbyville, has several
fully developed picnic areas--complete with grills, tables, water and
sanitary facilities, and playgrounds--scattered conveniently throughout the park for the
casual day visitor.
are 75 Class A Reservable
sites with electricity, showers, water hydrants, fire blocks and picnic
tables. Class B/S, and Class D sites are available but not reservable.
The Organized Group Camp area is reservable. Shower buildings are closed by November 1st (may be earlier if bad weather)
and reopen May 1st (may be earlier if good weather).
From the four-lane launching
ramp (adjacent to a 175-car parking lot), you can set out for a variety
of water sports or lazy days of angling. In addition, there are two marinas
on the lake providing a full range of boating and fishing supplies.There is a handicap transfer station for boaters at the boat ramp. A high water boat ramp provides access when the lake floods.
Miles of flooded brush,
timber and rock rip-rap shorelines, many points with submerges
ridges and hundreds of tributary streams emptying into Lake Shelbyville
provide prime and productive fishing areas, teeming with black and
white crappie, largemouth bass, walleye, channel and flathead catfish,
bluegill, muskie, bullhead, carp and sunfish.
Three marked nature trails
are available for tranquil and refreshing sojorns in the forest. More adventurous hikers enjoy setting off on the12-mile Illini Trail. A three-mile
cross-country ski trail provides invigorating wintertime activity.
In addition to designated
areas within Eagle Creek, hunting is available in the 785-acre Eagle
Creek Wildlife Area just to the west. Shotgun squirrel, rabbit and quail hunting ia allowed or you can really test your skill stalking deer with bow
and arrow. A state hunting license is required as well
as a seasonal hunting permit, available for free from the park
A bow range is provided for public use.
The Department of Natural
Resources also manages the Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area, the
3,000-acre Kaskaskia Unit near Allenville and the 3,000-acre West Okaw
Unit near Bethany. Both are within 10 miles of the park and provide additional
Please check with park staff
for specific information regarding species, shooting times and dates.
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