Wildlife abounds in the Washington County State Recreation Area located
four miles south of Nashville in southern Illinois. Visitors will marvel
at the sight of rabbit, quail, squirrel, dove, deer and woodcock among
the stands of pines, brushy draws and fallow fields. The beautiful Washington
County Lake makes this site a special place for relaxing or fishing. Whether
boating on its 248 acres, or fishing or hiking its 13-mile shoreline,
the lake offers a perfect opportunity for family fun. This natural area
has more than 900 acres for hunting, making it a paradise for shotgun
or bow and arrow sportsmen. Whether camping, hunting, fishing, boating,
hiking or picnicking, you will find Washington County State Recreation
Area has what you are looking for.
In 1959, the State
of Illinois purchased 160 acres of natural area near Nashville which
provided excellent cover and food for upland game. Additional acreage
has been added in succeeding years, currently totaling 1,440 acres.
In 1960 the Department of Natural Resources constructed the lake in
the areas between two small creeks. This long, thin lake is surrounded
by fields and woods. With the addition of picnic and camping areas,
this site has become a popular visiting site for outdoorsmen and nature
a special afternoon get away, the seven picnic areas scattered around
the lake provide a perfect setting. They are located in heavily wooded,
grassy areas and have tables, outdoor stoves, drinking water and playground
equipment. Whether you choose Ponderosa, Lazy L, or one of the other
picnic sites, you will be assured of scenic surroundings. Bring your
own picnic basket, or purchase sandwiches and soft drinks at the concession
Enjoying the out-of-doors
is easy with tent and trailer spaces readily accessible. Electricity
disposal are available for trailers. A shower building, open April 1st through October 31st, is also located
in the camping area.
Two Campground Cabins
are available in the campground. There is no cooking, pets, or
smoking in Cabins. Fire grill, table, and BBQ grill are provided
outside. A full size bed, two sets of bunk beds, table and chairs are
provided inside. The Cabins have heat and a/c available with two ceiling
fans. You must
provide your own bedding. A $45.00 reservation fee is needed in advance
to hold the Cabin for a particular date, then $45.00 per day after
that. The $5.00 reservation fee is non-refundable.
delight at the possibilities for catching their limits of largemouth
bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish and carp.
For boaters, two
launching ramps are available as well as boat docks. There is a limit
of 10 horsepower for motorboats. Both boats and motor boats are available
for rental for fishing or just a ride on the lake.
For an invigorating
walk, a seven-mile-long, marked trail is available. This trail circles
the lake and hikers can enjoy viewing the majestic trees, beautiful
wildflowers or the numerous birds and animals residing in the area.
Acre after acre of
wildlife habitat will challenge all levels of sportsman. Shotgun and archery
hunting are allowed, with an abundance of deer, turkey, and small game
available. All hunters must check in at the check site. Contact the site
ranger for game species, hunting times and regulations. Hunter
Interstate 64 runs
east and west across the state and passes 7 miles north of Washington
County State Recreation Area. Get off of the interstate at exit 50 and
this puts you on Illinois Route 127 and go through the city of Nashville.
Continue on 127 for 4 miles and a large sign on the east side of the highway
127 will be the entrance to Washington County State Recreation 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
- 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.