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Hamilton County State Fish & Wildlife Area  

Southern Region
R.R. 4, Box 242,
McLeansboro, IL 62859


Site Map Camping Day Use
History Hand Trap Hunter Fact Sheet

Hamilton County State Fish and Wildlife Area, also known as Dolan Lake, is located about 8 miles southeast of McLeansboro off Route 14.

Dolan Lake is the main attraction of the park. The earthen dam was constructed in 1962 and the lake was filled shortly thereafter. The 75-acre lake has 3 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 18 feet. The lake contains largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish and bullheads. A launching ramp is available. Motors are limited to 10 HP.


The site was established at the urging of the McLeansboro Kiwanis Club. In 1960 the state made its initial acquisition of 99 acres of land. Subsequent purchases have brought the total acreage to 1,683, of which 75 acres are water.

The site is one of gently rolling hills. Most of the hunting area is small open fields bordered by heavy fence rows or border plantings of warm season grasses, lespedeza and pine trees. Upland game food is supplied by patch plantings.


Tent and trailer sites are available with electricity, sanitary dump stations and a shower house. Campers without reservations need to obtain a permit from the site personnel when they arrive at the area. Five cabins are located on scenic Dolan Lake across from a modern shower building. No cooking, pets or smoking allowed in the cabins. Fire grills and tables are provided out side each cabin. Full-size bed, two sets of bunk beds, and a table and chairs are provided inside. Cabins have heat and air conditioning. Bring your own bedding. There must be an adult (18 or older) to stay in the cabin or camping areas. For reservations of the campsites or cabins, visit www.reserveamerica.com.

Day Use

The site has large, shaded picnic areas with tables, outdoor stoves and drinking water. A concession stand is operated from April 1 to Oct. 31. For more information call (618) 773-4340. Horseback and hiking trails, and playground equipment are available.

Hand Trap

Hamilton County has a first-come first-serve manual clay bird thrower trap area. The trap is open year-round, for shotguns only. Pick up all hulls and keep area clean.

  • 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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