Cedar Lake

The shores of this 1,750-acre lake is lined with forests and colorful bluffs. National forest land encompasses the south end of the lake and provides one of the most tranquil water settings in the Shawnee National Forest. 

Devil's Kitchen Lake

Devil’s Kitchen Lake is an 810-acre reservoir  created by the damming of Grassy Creek, with a maximum depth of 90 feet and a 24-mile shoreline. Boat ramps are available and have a 10-horsepower limit.

Little Grassy Lake

Located on Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, they offer boat rentals and accept reservations for pontoon boats, fishing boats and kayaks. Explore 30 miles of shoreline on the 1200 acre lake on the 1,000-acre impoundment.

Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area

Boat fishing is allowed, except during waterfowl season. A 50-horsepower limit exists for all watercraft. Two boat ramps are available for public use. We do not rent canoes or kayaks, but you are free to bring your own.

Lake Murphysboro State Park

Boaters can bring their own boat to the boat launch. The outboard motor limit is 10 hp.  Bank and boat fishing also are available on Little Lake, but no motors are allowed.


Cache River State Natural Area

The Lower Cache River Trail offers paddlers a quality canoe experience, 3 to 6 miles in length, through magnificent cypress-tupelo swamp. Canoeists can begin at the Lower Cache River access area or at a private boat launch ($1 fee) south of Perks. The trail is marked with international canoe symbols and arrows and/or yellow stripes on trees. Canoe maps and fact sheets are available at the site headquarters or wetlands center.

Cache Bayou Outfitters

Formerly White Crane Canoe Rentals & Guide Service, Explore the ancient waters of the Cache River Wetlands, Illinois’s hidden bayou. Paddling instruction, life jackets and paddles are included. Available 7 days a week. We recommend booking as early as possible to ensure availability. The Cache is waiting!

Mermet Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area

Mermet Lake is a shallow, 452-acre, IDNR-owned impoundment located in Massac County approximately 10 miles north of Metropolis. The outboard motor limit is 10 hp, but boats with larger outboards are allowed to operate at no-wake speed. Mermet Lake is closed to fishing during the duck season.


Golconda Marina

The site where the marina is located was created in 1937 when barrow dirt from this area used to build the flood wall around the town of Golconda. Recreational boaters find the miles of shoreline, numerous islands and deep, clean water of the Smithland Pool.

Lake Glendale Recreation Area

Its central location makes it easy to visit main attractions on either side of the forest or any place in-between. Surrounded by tall pine trees and mixed hardwood forests, Lake Glendale Recreation Area offers a wide range of recreation opportunities.

Sahara Woods State Fish & Wildlife Area

Sahara Lake is approximately 98 acres with a handicap accessible boat ramp, parking lot and restroom. Currently only two boat ramps are located at Sahara Woods, one on the 98 acre Sahara Lake, and one on a 15 acre strip cut located to the east of Sahara Lake.  Sahara Lake has a 10 horsepower or less motor restriction and all other strip cuts are electric motor only. Anglers are allowed to use “carry in” boats such as canoes, kayaks and small boat s on all strip pits currently open to bank fishing.

Pounds Hollow Lake

The clear blue waters beckon all types of water activities with fishing, kayaking, paddling and swimming (north end only) being the most popular.