Bruce Rauner, Governor

DNR Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

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

Illinois Gallery Website
Enjoy Illinois

  Randolph County - State Recreation Area   

West-Central Region Randolph County Waterfall
4301 S. Lake Dr.
Chester, IL 62233

Site Map Hiking Picnicking
Camping History Satellite Areas
Directions Horseback Riding Trails
Fishing Hunting Winter Sports

Randolph County State Recreation Area is a mecca for outdoor recreational activities. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, boating, hunting and camping are just a few of the choices, keeping even the most outdoorsman content on 1,101 acres. Located 5 miles northeast of Chester in Randolph County, it lies in the rolling hill country of southern Illinois. Offering a cool retreat from hot summer days, well shaded picnic areas, hiking trails and scenic forest stands await park visitors. There’s a diverse offering at beautiful Randolph County State Recreation Area.


In 1958, land was purchased and plans started to build a dam and spillway for a 65-acre lake. The lake was completed in 1961 and since that time, recreational facilities have been added to provide picnic shelters, toilets, a boat ramp and a concession stand.

Randolph County Lake is a clear-water lake stocked with channel catfish, redear and bluegill sunfish, walleye, saugeye and rainbow trout. Game fish such as largemouth bass, green sunfish, bullhead and crappie also can be found so no angler should be disappointed. Boat motors are limited to 10 HP.
Camping at Randolph County


The area is renowned for its wooded areas and abundance of songbirds and wildlife. Hikers on the trail may see woodpeckers, hawks, turkeys, deer, squirrels and waterfowl as they wind through woods and open fields, and around the lakeshore. An additional 11.6 miles of horse trails provide riders with the same panorama of sights and sounds.

Fifty-one Class BE campsites, 95 Class C campsites, an equestrian site with eight stalls for horses, and four Class D (primitive) campsites are available throughout the area. A group camp area has its own shelter, stone fireplace, electricity and tables.

A wonderful escape from a hot summer day awaits visitors in any of the six picnic areas. Nestled among hickory, oak, sweetgum and tulip trees, the picnic areas have shelters, tables, fire grills, and water fountains. Some of the shelters can be reserved through the site office, so plan ahead and bring your family and friends.

Squirrel hunters will find plenty of grey and fox squirrels which can be hunted with shotgun or bow. Dove, deer, rabbit, quail and woodcock are popular game species. Hunters must check in at the park office for a hunter fact sheet, map and regulations. 

Kidd Lake Hunter Fact Sheet | Randolph Hunter Fact Sheet

Winter Sports
On cold, wintry days, the horse trails provide a perfect path for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. For nature observers, winter is a great time to see a variety of wildlife along the hiking trails and scenic areas.

Rocky Stream at Randolph CountySatellite Areas

or those who want additional nature opportunities, several satellite areas are close by. Turkey Bluffs State Fish and Wildlife Area is located south of Chester and features picnic areas with scenic overlooks. Hunting for all species (statewide regulations apply) is permissible at Turkey Bluffs. Fults Hill Prairie is located a few miles north of Prairie du Rocher and offers a spectacular view from the bluff overlooking the Mississippi floodplain. Prairie flowers, soaring eagles and hawks provide a breathtaking experience. Piney Creek Nature Preserve is one of two locations in the state that possesses the state-endangered shortleaf pine trees. A hiking trail crosses through a ravine with steep canyon walls and past a running stream with waterfalls. This scenic adventure will challenge the most avid hiker. Kidd Lake State Natural Area also is nearby and provides quiet retreats from daily routine.

All access to the area is from the west entrance off Palestine Rd. Coming from the North on Route 3 one will turn east on Shawneetown Trail south of the town of Ellis Grove. At Palestine turn south on Palestine Road and proceed two miles then turn left at the entrance sign. Coming from the north on Route 150 turn west on Shawneetown Trail and proceed to Palestine then turn south on Palestine Road and proceed to the entrance sign and turn left into the area. Coming from the south from Chester head north on Palestine Road to the entrance sign and turn right into the area

  • 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 Economic Opportunity, 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
Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Interpretive Programs
State Park Magazine
Website Map
Visitor Comment Card

Copyrightę 2015 Department of Natural Resources
Accessibility    Contact    FAQs    Podcasts    Privacy    Social Networking