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  »Recreation

   
General Dacey Trail
 

Lake Shelbyville provides visitors an opportunity to experience over 50 miles of developed multi-purpose trails on public lands. The General Dacey Trail Concept Plan is a mult-partnered regional effort to expand recreational trail opportunities into a 170-mile trail network that will provide opportunities for bicycling, hiking, and other recreational trail uses, and provide off-road connectivity between local communities, public recreation areas and other interesting and scenic attractions in the region.

The General Dacey trail is a multipurpose trail that is designed for walkers, runners, and bicyclists. The trail is a great place for the whole family to spend time together enjoying nature. Besides exercise, the trail is a great place for bird watching, geocaching, and photography. The trail offers users a 15 station outdoor fitness area, located on the lower shelf by the Dam Overlook. The trail opened in 2006 and a total of seven phases completed with the latest in 2014. The trail starts at the Scout Cabin in Forest Park and will take you through woods, along the lake area, to the main visitors center, through Shelbyville & back to the park. The trail is handicap accessible.

Lake Shelbyville offers some of the best mountain biking at the Camp Camfield section of the General Dacey Trail with 10.5 miles of trail currently available with a designated bike route connection to the City of Sullivan. A four-mile section in the City of Shelbyville to Forest Park and Dam West is currently being developed and will provide an opportunity for winter sports such as snowmobiling as well as warm weather activities.

In addition, Wolf Creek State Park provides the only Equestrian Trail on Lake Shelbyville with 15 miles of trail conveniently located adjacent to an equestrian campground. Other trails include the Illini Trail, Okaw Bluff, and Coon Creek Trail. Click here to visit the Dacey Trail website.

 
   
Findlay Marina
(217) 756-8595
 
Findlay Marina is located at the heart of Central Illinois' Lake Shelbyville, which features over 11,000 acres of water and 172 miles of shoreline. The lake is a perfect host for a great variety of activities. Findlay Marina is only five minutes away from the National at Eagle Creek Golf Course and 30 minutes away from Decatur, Mattoon, and I-57; Champaign and Springfield are only 1 hour away. Click here to visit the Findlay Marina website.
 
Lithia Springs Marina
(800) 447-4121
 
Lithia Springs Marina is the "Gateway to Water Paradise" on beautiful Lake Shelbyville, Illinois. Spend dreamy days and nautical nights exploring the 250 miles of natural shoreline and 11,000 acres of water splendor. The innumerable coves were created for hours of enjoyable cruising, fishing, swimming, or relaxing in the warm summer rays and gentle breezes. Visit our full service marina for all your boating needs. Until you can cruise our lake, cruise our web site for more information on Lithia Springs Marina and "Paradise"-beautiful Lake Shelbyville. Click here to visit the Lithia Springs Marina website.
 
Sullivan Marina and Campground
(888) 728-7338
 
Located on a serene wooded hilltop that gently slopes into a full-service marina and restaurant situated on Lake Shelbyville, Sullivan Campground & Marina satisfies the needs of campers, boaters and fishing enthusiasts alike with a wide array of lakeside amenities. Click here to visit the Sullivan Marina website.
 
   
Federal Camping Facilities
 

Many campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS™) accepts reservations for individual sites at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground. NRRS™ is a nationwide reservation system for the Corps and the Forest Service. Reservations may be made in one of three ways:

1. by calling toll free 1-877-444-6777
2. by going to www.Recreation.gov on the Internet
3. in person at campground fee booths

Site specific reservations may be made at any Corps campground up to 240 days in advance of your camping trip, but not less than four days. Group camp and picnic shelter reservations may be made 360 days in advance. User fees must be paid at the time the reservation is made.

 
State Campground Facilities
 

Reservations for State Parks: Eagle Creek, Wolf Creek and Hidden Springs State Forest must be done online at www.reserveamerica.com. Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at dnr.state.il.us. There are a limited number of spots for reservation and there are plenty of first come, first serve sites. Site availability cannot be guaranteed without reservations.

Wolf Creek
R.R. 1 Box 99
Windsor, IL 61957
217-459-2831
Eagle Creek
RR 1 Box 198B
Findlay, IL 62534
217-756-8260
Hidden Springs
Box 200, RFD 1
Strasburg, IL 62465
217-644-3091
 
Group Camps
 

Group camps at Lone Point and Wilborn Creek open May 14, 2015 and close September 8, 2015. They can be reserved through NRRS™. There are also group camps at Eagle Creek and Wolf Creek State Parks that are open year roung.

A Golden Age/Golden Access passport may be used for a 50% discount off the regular user fee, if every member in the group has the card. There are now new passes called the National Park & Federal Recreation Land Passes. They are available at www.nps.gov/LIHO or call 217-492-4241.

The Okaw Group Camp contains two houses, which can accommodate a maximum of 34 people. Reservations may be made by calling 217-774-3951 beginning the first Monday in December for the next year. Walk-in Reservations may be made starting the first Tuesday after the first Monday in December, at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office. Open April 3-November 29, 2015.

There are over 1,000 campsites on Lake Shelbyville for your enjoyment
Bo Wood will have site 114-141 open till 12/1/14 and Lone Point 86-95 till 12/1/14. FCFS*
2015 Opening & Closing Dates
 
Campground
Fees per Night
Open
Close
Bo Wood
(sites 114-141)
$18 - $24   *(December )
Bo Wood $18 - $24 April 16 October 25
Lithia Springs $18 - $24 April 16 October 25
Coon Creek $18 - $24 May 7 October 12
Lone Point
(sites 86-95)
$16 - $24

May 14


September 2
(December )*
Opossum Creek
$16 - $24
May 14

September 8


*Extended camping season: weather permitting
 
Private Camping Facilities

 

Arrowhead Campground • 217-756-8884
One-half mile east of Lone Point. Offers 149 sites, electric, city water, showers, bait, playground, fishing pond and recreation room. Sewer hook-up or dump station.

Cardinal Campground • 217-774-5064
1 mile east of Lithia Springs. Available are fifteen permanent site. All water and electric. Tent camping, fishing, sand volleyball, bait, horseshoes and showers. Cost: $8-$12.

Coon Creek RV Park & Resort • 217-756-3147
On Coon Creek Road at Lake Shelbyville. Permanent sites only. 1/2 mile from the lake.

La Caille RV Park • 217-756-8846
All amenities. Taking permanent camping reservations for Spring. 1/2 mile east of Lone Point, Findlay.

Kaskaskia River Camp • 217-774-4721
South of dam off Route 16. Tent camping. Limited electric and water. Canoe and boat rentals, bait and showers. On river bank.

Riverfront Campground • 217-774-4442
South of dam...follow signs off Route 16. 100+ sites, tent and RV. Two boat docks on Kaskaskia River. Permanent sites only.

Robin Hood Woods • 217-774-4222
2.5 miles east of dam of Route 16, mostly wooded. Sites with water, electric and sewer. In-ground outdoor pool, pond, horseshoes, 2 playgrounds, game room, tent sites and showers. One-room cottages with bath air, heat
and two bedrooms.

 
   
Lake Shelbyville is renowned for great fishing. Lake Shelbyville was selected by Bassmaster Magazine as one of the best bass lakes in Illinois.
   
A rural Windsor man and Lake Shelbyville fishing guide, Bruce Sanders, caught and released the new Biggest Fish record white bass! The record bass weighed in at 4lbs. 2oz. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains sizeable populations in 16 ponds that it manages in conjunction with the local Department of Natural Resources. Visitors can fish in more than 11,000 acres of clear water where catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, walleye, muskie, white bass and bluegill are in abundance.

The new Biggest Fish record catfish was caught in 2002 by Shelbyville resident, Chris Rentfro. The catfish was 62 lbs. 10oz. and was 48 inches long! Lake Shelbyville offers some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the Midwest. Novice and avid fisherman alike will find plenty to catch, even with the 14-inch minimum length limit.

 

A new Lake record large mouth Bass was caught by Chuck Ditto from Shelbyville. The Bass weighed 8 lbs. 55 oz. and was caught during the Illini Team fishing tournament. Fishermen appreciate the fact that the average-size keeper is more than two pounds. Tournament anglers generally need to catch between 16 and 17 pounds to win the average one-day event!

Fishing reports on Lake Shelbyville regularly include mention of active muskies feeding in the backs of coves or of muskie caught by accident off deep-water points especially in the prime months of April, May, October, and November.

Since a number of Muskie were caught over the 36-inch limit, the new size limit is now 48 inches. A decade down the road if these fish are caught and released properly we will have 40 to 50 pound muskies in Lake Shelbyville. The longest Muskie caught in Lake Shelbyville, on November 5, 2003 by Kelly Himes of Mattoon, was 53 inches long. Another Mattoon man, Matt Carmean, landed the newest Illinois State Record for Muskie. The new record was caught on April 20th, 2002, weighing 38 pounds, 8 ounces and 50 3/4 inches long! Lake Shelbyville promises, in the future, to be a leader in the Muskie world.

Muskie Creel Survey Card. Click here to fill out and print to send in
License Prices
 
Resident $15 (Annual) Non-Resident $31.50 (Annual)
Non-Resident $15.50 (3 Days) Senior Resident $7.75 (Annual) 65 years and older
 

2015 Fishing Tournaments-check back for updates

Lake Shelbyville Fishing Guide-This will take a little time to download

2013-2015 Illinois Fishing Information Booklet-This will take a little time to download

 

Download the 2014 Fishing Prospects for Lake Shelbyville here.
 
   

The Lake Shelbyville Area boasts numerous fine golfing opportunities within 30 minutes of the lake. Several of our local motels offer a variety of package plans for the traveling golf enthusiast. On site courses include Eagle Creek and Oak Terrace. You will need to contact the accommodation to get packages.

 
Championship Golf Courses
 
Course
Holes
Phone
Fox Prairie Golf Course 18 217-459-2805
Hickory Point 18 217-421-7444
Lakeshore Taylorville 18 217-824-5521
Meadowview 18 217-258-7888
Moweaqua Municipal 18 217-768-3411
Eagle Creek Golf Course 18 217-756-5550
Oak Terrace 18 217-539-4477
Pleasant Grove 9 217-348-1611
Red Tail Run 18 217-422-2211
Rogala 9 217-235-5518
Scovill 18 217-429-6243
Sullivan Country Club 9 217-728-4406
St. Elmo 9 618-829-3390
Timberlake 9 217-797-6496

 
 
Coon Creek Trail
0.7 Miles
 
Located in Coon Creek Campground, this .7 mile trail is self-guided. Among the highlights are a lookout tower, swinging bridge, and succession pond. A variety of trees, flowers, and ferns are identified along this truly scenic trail
 
Camp Camfield Trail
1.2 Miles & 5 Miles
 
These two trails are 1.2 and 5 miles. Both offer picturesque views of the lake and outdoor amphitheatres. These trails pass by ponds which are not only photogenic, but are also excellent fishing sites, as well. This trail system is designated a National Recreation Trail. A well designed moutain biking trail is also available in the area. Click here for CIMBA
 
Okaw Bluff Trail
1.2 Miles
 
Located at the entrance of the Okaw Bluff Group Camp, this 1.2 mile trail winds along a bluff overlooking the lake and next to a 100-acre wetland. It includes two photographic stands and a wetlands/waterfowl viewing stand. There are prime areas to view migrating waterfowl and shorebirds during the winter and spring migrating seasons.
   
Chief Illini Trail
11 Miles
 
A National Recreation Trail, this 11-mile trail is a scenic journey winding across rolling hills and prairies offering close-ups of the lake. The trail begins at Lone Point Campground and ends at Eagle Creek State Park. A trail camping shelter is available by reservation only and only available to hikers who hike the entire trail. Call 217-774-3951, ext 2 for details.
   
Little Chief Illini Trail
2 Miles
 
This trail is the first 2 miles of the Chief Illini Trail, beginning at Lone Point Campground and ends near Arrowhead Campground.
   
Wolf Creek Trails
 
For refreshing walks in the forests, Wolf Creek contains 7 hiking trails. For invigorating wintertime activity there is a 16 1/2-mile snowmobile trail, and for the equestrian there is a scenic 15-mile equestrian trail.
   
Eagle Creek Trails
 
Five marked nature trails for tranquil & refreshing sojourns in the forest, as well as access to the 11-mile Chief Illini trail for the more adventurous hiker and a 3-mile cross-country ski trail for invigorating wintertime activity.
   
Hidden Springs Trails
 
Opossum Hollow Nature Trail, 3/4 mile in length. The Big Tree Trail, 1 mile in length, features a sycamore 78 inches in diameter, one of the largest to be found in Illinois. Rocky Spring Trail, 3 miles in length. Seventeen miles of fire lanes also provide access to remote areas of the forest.
 
 

Wolf Creek Riding Stables - CLOSED
Open April - November
Guided Trail Rides

The stables are closed, but you can still bring your own horse and ride the trails and/or camp with your horse. You can bring your own horses. Wolf Creek State Park has a horse camp, so you can stay for several days or a week and ride. There is a 15-mile equestrian trail.

Coyote Creek Stables - Sigel
217-844-2161/217-821-7783
coyotecreektack@yahoo.com

Far View Stables - Shelbyville
217-774-9510

Owens Top of the Hill Horses-Tower Hill-5 miles from Shelbyville.
217-567-3199, 217-273-3199
owensthh@gmail.com
indoor/outdoor, all ages, rain or shine


 
 

You can hunt almost anything in Shelby County. We have an abundance of wildlife both for the enthusiast who enjoys watching wildlife and the avid hunter who enjoys the thrill of the hunt. Best bets for the upcoming season include archery and shotgun deer hunting, rabbit and waterfowl hunting. The waterfowl opportunities are abundant in the subimpoundments for both walk-in hunters and those using boat blinds on the main lake. Other huntable wildlife species that you can expect to find on Lake Shelbyville lands in lesser numbers are: quail, pheasant, gray and fox squirrels, turkey, dove, woodcock, raccoon, fox and coyote.

Controlled dove hunting is conducted during the first two days of the dove hunting season in managed sunflower fields. These hunts limit the number of participants for quality and safety reasons where demand for the sport exceeds available hunting area.

 

The Annual Lake Shelbyville Deer Hunt for People with Disabilities, hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Wolf Creek State Park, takes place in November. This special three-day hunt proves to be an excellent deer-hunting experience for participating hunters. It provides a wonderful opportunity to those who would not normally be able to participate in this physically demanding sport. Handicap archery is available at Whitley Creek, and you can reserve the blinds for the archery season. To volunteer or reserve, call 217-774-3951, ext 4.

It is important to note that the management of these lands is shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and thus regulations governing each of their respective lands may vary somewhat. Before engaging in any hunting activities at Lake Shelbyville, you should determine which agencies’ land you intend to hunt on, and what rules and regulations are in effect on those particular lands.

The vast majority of huntable State lands (6,200 acres) are located in the upper reaches of the lake along the West Okaw and Kaskaskia Rivers. They also manage Eagle and Wolf Creek State Parks. The Corps manages all other project lands. You must check with State personnel to see what species may be hunted, approved hunting methods, and effective dates before hunting in either State Park. Contact numbers: 217-756-8260 or 217-459-2831 or call IDNR Wildlife Area at 217-665-3112. For permits you can register online at dnr.state.il.us.

 
   

There are 3 public beaches located on Lake Shelbyville.

  • Dam West Recreation Area (9th St) in Shelbyville
  • Sullivan Beach located just outside of Sullivan
  • Wilborn Creek Recreation Area near Kirksville.

Fees are $1 per person, up to $4 per vehicle. Hours are 8 am to Dusk.

Open May 23rd to September 1st in 2015. Open from 8 am to Sunset.
Annual passes are available for $30 at the office
M-F 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

   
Aquatic Center
   

This attraction, located in Forest Park, provides zero-depth entry for the young, the old and physically handicapped. It has a frog slide, a water slide, and a one-meter drop slide. It has a wet playground area, a sand playground area, a concessions/food court area, a shaded picnic area and a bath house. It also has several lap lanes and a diving board. The Shelbyville Family Aquatic center offers recreation for all ages. Opens Memorial Day Weekend and closes after Labor Day Weekend every year. Entry is $5.

Monday - Friday: 12 - 8 PM
Saturday: 12 - 6 PM
Sunday: 1 - 6 PM