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Southeastern Illinois Boating and Fishing

Boating and Fishing in Southeastern Illinois

Beall Woods State Park

9285 Beall Woods Ave., Mount Carmel

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to 10:00 pm. It is closed on Christmas and New Years Day as well as the third week of November and the first weekend in Decemb

16 Class C Camping Sites, Restrooms, Phone

Enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking and hunting at Beall Woods (pronounced Bell). While a working farm owned by the Beall family since the 1880s, almost half of the 635 acres consisted of forest that had never been cleared. Located on the banks of the Wabash River 6 miles south of Mt. Carmel in Wabash County, Beall Woods today is a 329-acre old-growth forest and one of few remaining virgin forests on the east side of the Mississippi River. It was dedicated in 1966 as an Illinois Nature Preserve and is also registered as a National Landmark. Don't miss the new interactive Visitor's Center with exhibits and educational displays explaining the natural history of the area.

There are more than 300 trees in the preserve that measure more than 120 feet tall with diameters close to three feet.

The park offers five hiking trails that provide an excellent view of the forest.

There is also a 15-acre lake that is stocked with bass, blue gill, catfish, and trout for anglers.

Other park activities include hunting in season, camping and picnicking.


Borah Lake


Located north of Olney, Borah Lake features shoreline fishing and boating.


East Fork Lake

N. Silver and Millers Grove Rd., Olney

This 934-acre lake located north of Olney has 33 miles of shoreline and offers fishing, water-skiing and other family activities.


Embarras River - Newton


Canoeists can enter the Embarras River one block west of Peterson Park.

Lake Mattoon

1282 County Road 000 E, Neoga

Camping, Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Swimming, Park, Marina and much more.

In the heartland of East Central Illinois, Lake Mattoon is Located 7 miles southwest of Mattoon in the Counties of Coles, Shelby and Cumberland. The Lake is owned by the City of Mattoon and is the City's primary source for water supply. It has a surface area of 1,050 acres with a 55.5 mile shoreline in which 53% is owned by the City. The maximum depth is 35 feet and the average depth is only 10 feet. Being fed by the Little Wabash River, Lake Mattoon is a popular recreation spot for boating, fishing and camping. Boating and fishing are available almost year round. Camping is available from April 1st thru October 31st Directions: Exit I-57 at exit 177, then south on SR 45 into the City of Neoga to the first stop sign which is 6th St., turn (right) west on 6th St. until Walnut (first stop sign), then turn North (right) on Walnut and follow the road out of town. Walnut turns into 100/CH118. Turn west (left) at 1250N/CH19 follow road across the Lake, Beach Pavilion is just ahead on the left.


Newton Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area

3490 E. 500th Ave., Newton

Boating, Hiking, 5-mile Mountain Biking trail, Cross Country Skiing, Horseback Riding, Trails, Fishing, Hunting

This 2,350-acre fish and wildlife area is home to a variety of wildlife, including the state-protected prairie chicken and river otter. The 1,775-acre lake, known for its healthy population of bass, and its shoreline are perfect for bank and boat fishing, picnicking and hiking. Besides fishing, visitors can boat or swim at the lake. There are more than 22 miles of trails that run along the lake for hiking or equestrian use as well as cross country skiing in the winter months. A five-mile mountain biking trail exists and has received many positive reviews. Hunting, wildlife observation, and picnicking are also popular activities with park visitors.

Newton Lake is a power plant lake fishable year round. Producing both numbers and large bass, the combination has made Newton Lake one of the premier bass fishing destinations in America and our guides know it better than anyone! Because it's a power plant lake, the bass get big in a hurry . An 18 inch size limit ensures plenty of lunkers. The average size bass in this lake is 3 to 5lbs, with occasional 6 to 8lbs being pretty common.


Outdoor Sportsman's Lodge

2635 North 250th St., Newton

Offers hunting, fishing, golf and meeting packages, as well as getaway weekend packages. Gas fireplaces, central heating and air, satellite TV, and gourmet meals delivered directly to your table.

Outdoor Sportsman's Lodge is conveniently located just off Newton lake with 2 cabins so you can enjoy your hunt. Some of the nations best Bass Fishing can be found as well as a hunters paradise for all game. Guided and non-guided fishing and hunting packages are available by calling. In the off-season this facility is a Bed & Breakfast. Described as a "Sportsman's paradise" by World Champion Angler Denny Brauer.


Red Hills State Park

1100 N. & 400 E., RR 2, Box 252A, Sumner

104 Sites, Electric, Water, Restrooms, Showers, Phone, Dump Station

In southeastern Illinois midway between Olney and Lawrenceville on U.S. 50, Red Hills is a carefully preserved and maintained 948-acres of high wooded hills, deep ravines, captivating meadows and year-round springs. It's the perfect setting for natural relaxation and outdoor activities. The sparkling 40-acre lake is ideal for fishing and boating. This 950-acre state park offers hiking and biking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding, hunting and boating.

The park is an important historical crossroad, representing the western most edge of the first land in Illinois ceded by Native Americans to the United States.

Red Hills features many outdoor activities. Fishing and boating, hunting, hiking and horse trails as well as camping are available for all. A recent addition to the park is a log cabin available for visitors to rent on a nightly basis.

In addition, the park is the home to the Trace Inn Restaurant, with lunch and dinner and daily specials, Tuesday - Sunday.


Sam Dale Lake State Conservation Area

R.R. 1, Johnsonville

Boating, Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Picnicking, Swimming, and Wildlife Observation.

This wildlife area was established in 1959 with 40 acres and has grown to cover more than 1,300 acres and includes a 194-acre lake plus several ponds. The lake is surrounded by eight miles of hiking trails. There are several floating docks on the lake for fishing and boat rentals are available at the concession stand. Bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie are the lake's most popular fish. Ice fishing is available during the winter months.


Sam Parr State Fish & Wildlife Area

13225 E. Illinois Hwy. 33, Newton

Boating, Camping (30 sites, Electric, Restrooms, Phone, Dump Station), Fishing, Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Picnicking

Surrounded by timberland, this 1,800-acre park is popular with hunters and fishermen. It has a 183-acre lake, 840 huntable acres, picnic areas, a 13-mile equestrian trail, a hiking trail, trailer camping and tent sites. Visitors will enjoy driving or walking through the park at dusk to view the many deer and other wildlife.


Vernor Lake


Adjacent to the Richland Country Club, on Rt. 130, Vernor offers fishing and small boating.


Wabash River - Mt. Carmel

Mount Carmel

Like other southeastern counties, individuals can enjoy boating on the Wabash via a boat ramp at East 4th Street in Mt. Carmel.


Wabash River - Russellville

Elm St., Russelville

Boat ramp on East Elm Street.

Wabash River - St. Francisville

Saint Francisville

Visitors to Lawrence County can also enjoy an afternoon on the Wabash entering the river at St. Francisville on East Main Street. Parking is available for boat trailers.