In east central Illinois-just minutes from
Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Effingham and surrounding communities
- the Wolf Creek/Eagle Creek sites, facing each other across the central
portion of Lake Shelbyville, provide the perfect setting for outdoor recreation
and natural relaxation for a day, a weekend, or even longer.
Eight miles northwest of Windsor, the sites
encompass 11,100 acres of water, 250 miles of shoreline and large tracts
of carefully maintained indigenous woodlands ideal for camping, horseback
riding, snowmobiling, boat fishing, water skiing, pontoon boating, windsurfing
or just plain bobbing and drifting on the glittering expanse of the lake
In addition to visiting the small, friendly
wooded campgrounds or taking part in the action on the lake, swimming
is available from the beach. You can also take a leisurely stroll through
nearby forests. An abundance of deer, pheasant, rabbits, wild turkey and
songbirds are almost always visible.
Portions of the park have been cleared of
physical barriers and are accessible to disabled visitors.
Like many other such areas, the Wolf Creek/Eagle
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
Reservoirs Project, which involved construction of a dam and creation
of a lake. These mundane necessities, however, would also allow for the
actual conservation of fish and wildlife and the development of areas
for all the recreational uses outlined above.
It was, of course, a monumental undertaking.
Before actual work on the dam at Shelbyville could begin, several old
mines in the area had to be completely 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 itself 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 water level
and manage the 25,300 acres of its flood control pool.
Most of this work was done by the United
States Army Corps of Engineers, and the land is now managed by the State
of Illinois on a long-term lease from the federal government which began
in 1968. By 1972, the area was open to the public and provided primitive
camping facilities. In the years since then, the state has purchased additional
surrounding lands and made extensive improvements in campgrounds, boat
launches, day-use areas and hiking trails that make this a beautiful,
well-tended and well-managed natural retreat in which to relax.
Family picnic areas are scattered throughout
Wolf Creek State Park. Complete with grills, tables, water, sanitary
facilities and playgrounds, youll find everything you need to have a great outing.
Two areas are equipped with shelters and facilities for disabled visitors.
The Lost Shelter picnic area is an isolated, scenic area and is available
There are 304 Class A campsites with restrooms
and showers, electricity and picnic tables, a camgound cabin, and 78 Class C sites. In
there are two family tent camping areas, an organized group camp, and
an equestrian campground. The shower buildings are closed by November
1st (may be earlier if bad weather) and reopen May 1st (may be earlier
- weather depending).
A 140-site area in the Lick Creek section
has also been designated for reservations.
Requests for reservations are accepted starting in January for sites to
be reserved between May 1 and October 31.
From the four-lane launching ramp (adjacent
to a 175-car parking lot), you can set out for any variety of water sports.
Rental boats and motors are available from several private marinas on
the lake, which also provide a full range of boating and fishing supplies. There is a high water boat ramp for when the lake floods.
The miles of flood brush, timber and rock
rip-rap shorelines, the many points with submerged ridges, and the hundreds
of tributary streams emptying into Lake Shelbyville provide prime and
productive fishing areas. The lake is teeming with black and white crappie,
largemouth bass, walleye, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, muskie,
bullhead, carp and sunfish. Special size and creel limits are in effect
for some species, so please check with the site superintendents
office for specific information on fishing opportunities and regulations.
Treat your whole family to a day at the beach.
A developed swimming beach, opens at the end of May and closed on the first of September, is situated in the southwest section of the park. A high water swimming beach is available when the lake floods. No lifeguards
are available, so please remain in the buoyed area and be careful. Alcohol
is not allowed past the main gate into the beach area, and pets, food
and drinks are not permitted on the sand. Picnic tables and grills are
For refreshing walks in the forests, Wolf
Creek contains seven hiking trails. For invigorating winter time activity
there is a 16 1/2-mile snowmobile trail, and for the equestrian there
is a scenic 15-mile equestrian trail. For information about the riding
stable please call (217) 459-2444.
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