Are you looking to explore the serene beauty of lakes in Illinois? From peaceful fishing spots to picturesque picnic areas, Illinois is home to a variety of stunning lakes waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re seeking a quiet retreat or an exciting day out on the water, these lakes offer something for everyone.

In order to curate a comprehensive list of the best lakes in Illinois, we carefully analyze reviews, locations, and amenities to determine the top picks. By evaluating factors such as water quality, recreational activities, and accessibility, we can create a ranking system that helps you easily find the perfect lake for your next adventure. So, whether you’re planning a family outing or a solo fishing trip, let us guide you to the best lakes Illinois has to offer!

Top lakes in illinois

  1. Lake Jacksonville
  2. Argyle Lake State Park
  3. Rend Lake
  4. Lake Shelbyville
  5. Carlyle Lake
  6. Kinkaid Lake
  7. Little Grassy Lake
  8. Lake Opeka
  9. Devils Kitchen Lake
  10. Lake Mattoon

Lake Jacksonville

Lake Jacksonville in Illinois is a top-rated destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With a stellar rating of 4.8 out of 5 and glowing reviews from 68 visitors, this lake offers a pristine and serene setting for visitors to enjoy. Located in Illinois 62650, USA, Lake Jacksonville is easily accessible and perfect for a day of relaxation and fun.

The lake offers a range of services for visitors, including fishing, boating, and picnicking. Whether you’re looking to cast a line and reel in some fish or simply unwind by the water’s edge, Lake Jacksonville has something for everyone. The Price Range is affordable, making it an ideal choice for families or individuals looking for a budget-friendly day out.

One of Lake Jacksonville’s unique selling points is its tranquil atmosphere and scenic views. Visitors can take in the beauty of the surrounding landscape while enjoying the various activities the lake has to offer. With its prime location and excellent facilities, Lake Jacksonville stands out as a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. Consider them for your next outdoor adventure in Illinois!

Lake Jacksonville

Contact Details

Address: Illinois 62650, USA


Argyle Lake State Park

Argyle Lake State Park in Colchester Township, Illinois is a hidden gem for nature lovers. With a pristine rating of 4.8, this park offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With 12 glowing reviews, this park clearly wins the hearts of its visitors.

Located in a picturesque setting, the park’s main highlight is the beautiful Argyle Lake, offering a range of water activities for visitors to enjoy. The services they provide primarily revolve around the lake, such as fishing, boating, and picnicking, making it a perfect destination for a family day out.

Argyle Lake State Park’s unique selling point lies in its serene ambiance and well-maintained facilities. Visitors can expect a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for unwinding and connecting with nature. The park’s affordability makes it accessible to all, catering to a wide audience without breaking the bank.

Readers should consider visiting Argyle Lake State Park for a refreshing break, reconnecting with nature, and creating unforgettable memories with loved ones. With its tranquil lake setting, diverse services, and affordable price range, this park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a peaceful escape in Illinois.

Argyle Lake State Park

Contact Details

Address: Colchester Township, IL 62326, USA


Rend Lake

Rend Lake in Illinois is a top-notch destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy a variety of activities in a picturesque setting. Boasting a high rating of 4.7 based on 598 reviews, it is evident that visitors have had a positive experience at this location. Situated in Illinois, USA, Rend Lake offers a range of services focused on lake-based activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. The large lake is surrounded by campsites, trails, and picnic areas, providing ample opportunities for exploration and relaxation.

One of the key reasons why readers should consider visiting Rend Lake is its diverse range of offerings that cater to different interests. Whether you are an avid angler seeking a prime fishing spot, a boating enthusiast looking to cruise the waters, or a family in search of a fun day out by the lake, Rend Lake has something for everyone. Additionally, the beautiful natural surroundings and well-maintained facilities make it a top choice for those looking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors.

In terms of pricing, Rend Lake falls within a moderate price range, offering good value for the range of services and amenities available. The unique selling points of Rend Lake lie in its combination of recreational opportunities, scenic beauty, and convenient amenities, making it a standout destination among the lakes in Illinois. Whether you’re planning a solo fishing trip, a family picnic, or a weekend getaway with friends, Rend Lake promises a memorable experience for all visitors.

Rend Lake

Contact Details

Address: Illinois, USA


Lake Shelbyville

Lake Shelbyville in Illinois is a top-rated destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with a high rating of 4.7 out of 5. With 241 reviews, it’s clear that visitors love the 11,000-acre lake and all it has to offer. Located in Illinois, Lake Shelbyville boasts a range of activities including boating, swimming, camping, fishing, sandy beaches, and picnicking.

This popular lake is a haven for those seeking a variety of recreational opportunities in a natural setting. Families can enjoy a day of swimming and picnicking on the sandy beaches, while fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching some of the local fish species. The camping facilities provide a great opportunity to spend quality time in nature, making it an ideal getaway for nature lovers.

Lake Shelbyville’s unique selling points include its size, the range of activities available, and its picturesque surroundings. The lake offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can unwind and connect with nature. With its diverse range of services and activities, Lake Shelbyville is an excellent choice for anyone looking to immerse themselves in outdoor adventures.

Overall, Lake Shelbyville provides a great value for the services it offers, making it a worthwhile destination for families, friends, and solo travelers alike. Whether you’re a fishing enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing day out, Lake Shelbyville has something for everyone to enjoy.

Lake Shelbyville

Contact Details

Address: Illinois


Carlyle Lake

Carlyle Lake in Carlyle Township, IL is a hidden gem that boasts a rating of 4.7 and 233 glowing reviews. This 26,000-acre lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide array of activities such as sailing, fishing, and hiking along state park trails. With its sandy beach areas, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing day by the water.

One of the unique selling points of Carlyle Lake is its expansive size, providing plenty of space for visitors to explore and enjoy nature. Whether you’re looking to reel in a big catch or simply soak up the sun on the beach, this lake has something for everyone.

The services provided by Carlyle Lake cater to those seeking a peaceful retreat in the midst of nature. From boating and fishing to picnicking and birdwatching, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you entertained. The lake is also known for its affordable pricing, making it a budget-friendly option for families and solo travelers alike.

If you’re a nature lover looking for a picturesque getaway in Illinois, Carlyle Lake is a must-visit destination. Its scenic beauty, diverse range of activities, and reasonable prices make it a top choice for anyone seeking outdoor adventure and relaxation.

Carlyle Lake

Contact Details

Address: Carlyle Township, IL 62231


Kinkaid Lake

Kinkaid Lake in Illinois is a hidden gem for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With a rating of 4.7 and 131 positive reviews, this picturesque destination offers a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure. Located in Illinois, USA, Kinkaid Lake is renowned for its hiking trails and stunning sandstone bluffs that encircle the reservoir, making it a popular spot for fishing and boating.

Visitors can expect top-notch services in the lake category, including excellent facilities for fishing and boating. The serene ambiance and scenic beauty of the lake set it apart from other destinations, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Kinkaid Lake’s key USPs lie in its pristine surroundings, well-maintained hiking trails, and abundant opportunities for water activities. The price range is reasonable, offering great value for the experience it provides. Readers should consider Kinkaid Lake for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway, filled with outdoor adventures and natural beauty. Don’t miss out on this hidden oasis in Illinois!

Kinkaid Lake

Contact Details

Address: Illinois, USA


Little Grassy Lake

Little Grassy Lake in Illinois is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy a day by the water. This tranquil reservoir boasts a high rating of 4.7, with 118 positive reviews showcasing its popularity among locals and tourists alike. Located in Illinois 62958, this picturesque lake offers a range of services, focusing mainly on warm-water fishing and boating activities. Additionally, visitors can take advantage of the nearby campgrounds and marina facilities, making it a perfect destination for a fun-filled weekend getaway.

The price range at Little Grassy Lake is reasonable, catering to budget-conscious individuals seeking a peaceful retreat. Their main services include fishing excursions, boating opportunities, and access to campgrounds for those looking to stay overnight. The unique selling points of this destination lie in its serene ambiance, well-maintained facilities, and convenient marina amenities, ensuring a seamless experience for visitors of all ages.

Readers should consider Little Grassy Lake for its scenic beauty, diverse range of activities, and excellent customer reviews. Whether you’re an avid angler, a boating enthusiast, or simply looking to unwind in nature, this charming lake has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore this hidden paradise in Illinois and create lasting memories with family and friends.

Little Grassy Lake

Contact Details

Address: Illinois 62958


Lake Opeka

Lake Opeka in Des Plaines, Illinois is a hidden gem offering a tranquil escape for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With a stellar rating of 4.7 and glowing reviews from 79 satisfied visitors, this lake is a must-visit destination in the state. Located at 2200 Lee St, Des Plaines, IL 60018, Lake Opeka provides a serene setting for relaxation and recreation.

The main service category offered by Lake Opeka is, of course, the lake itself. Visitors can enjoy activities such as fishing, boating, and picnicking in the scenic surroundings. One of the key unique selling points of Lake Opeka is its peaceful ambiance and well-maintained facilities, making it an ideal spot for a day out with family or friends.

In terms of price range, Lake Opeka offers affordable entry fees, making it accessible to all. What sets Lake Opeka apart is its pristine waters, picturesque views, and abundance of wildlife, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers. For a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life, readers should definitely consider a visit to Lake Opeka.

Lake Opeka

Contact Details

Address: Des Plaines, IL 60018, USA


Devils Kitchen Lake

Devils Kitchen Lake in Illinois is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts, with a rating of 4.7 stars from 58 reviews. This 810-acre manmade lake is a nature lover’s paradise, surrounded by lush greenery that provides a serene backdrop for boating and rainbow-trout fishing.

The lake offers a range of services in the ‘Lake’ category, making it a perfect destination for a fun day out on the water. The pricing is reasonable, ensuring that visitors can enjoy the activities without breaking the bank. Devils Kitchen Lake stands out for its tranquil setting and the abundance of fish for anglers to catch, making it a unique experience for anyone looking to escape into nature.

Visitors should consider Devils Kitchen Lake for its peaceful atmosphere, variety of water activities, and picturesque scenery. Whether you’re a fishing enthusiast or just looking to relax on a boat surrounded by nature, this lake has something for everyone. Plan a visit to Devils Kitchen Lake for a memorable outdoor adventure in Illinois.

Devils Kitchen Lake

Contact Details

Address: Illinois


Lake Mattoon

Lake Mattoon in Illinois is a picturesque destination with a rating of 4.7 and positive reviews from 49 visitors. Located in Illinois, USA, this serene lake offers a range of services categorized under the ‘Lake’ service category. The unique selling points of Lake Mattoon include its tranquil atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and recreational opportunities.

Visitors to Lake Mattoon can enjoy activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. The lake provides a peaceful retreat for families, couples, and individuals seeking to relax and unwind amidst nature. The price range at Lake Mattoon is affordable, making it accessible to a wide range of visitors.

One reason readers should consider visiting Lake Mattoon is its pristine setting and abundance of outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking to spend a day on the water or simply enjoy a picnic by the shore, Lake Mattoon offers something for everyone. With its favorable rating and positive reviews, Lake Mattoon is a must-visit destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway in Illinois.

Lake Mattoon

Contact Details

Address: Illinois, USA


Guide to Choosing the Best Lakes in Illinois

When it comes to selecting the perfect lake in Illinois for your next outdoor adventure, there are several factors to consider to ensure a memorable experience. Here are some essential tips to help you choose the best lake:

What to Look For

  1. Activities: Determine the activities you enjoy such as fishing, boating, swimming, or hiking, and choose a lake that offers those recreational opportunities.

  2. Location: Consider the proximity of the lake to your home or accommodation. Look for lakes in Illinois that are conveniently located to save time on travel.

  3. Scenery: Check out the surrounding landscape of the lake. Whether you prefer serene forests, rolling hills, or picturesque views, choose a lake that offers the scenery you desire.

  4. Amenities: Look for lakes that provide amenities such as picnic areas, campgrounds, boat rentals, and restroom facilities to enhance your overall experience.

How to Decide

  1. Research: Take the time to research different lakes in Illinois online or through guidebooks to learn more about their features, facilities, and reviews from other visitors.

  2. Ask Locals: Reach out to locals or visit nearby towns to get recommendations on the best lakes in the area. Locals often have insider knowledge that can help you make an informed decision.

  3. Visit in Person: If possible, visit the lakes you are considering in person to get a firsthand look at the water quality, cleanliness, and overall atmosphere.

Nearby Areas and Neighbourhoods

  1. Lake Geneva: Just across the border in Wisconsin, Lake Geneva is a popular summer destination with its crystal-clear waters and charming lakeside towns.

  2. Galena: Explore the historic town of Galena, located near several scenic lakes in Illinois, offering a blend of outdoor activities and cultural attractions.

  3. Starved Rock State Park: Visit this natural gem with stunning canyons and waterfalls, located near a variety of picturesque lakes ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can choose the best lake in Illinois that aligns with your preferences and ensures a memorable outdoor experience. Enjoy exploring the beauty of Illinois’s lakes and surrounding areas!

Final Remarks

As we wrap up our exploration of the stunning lakes in Illinois, it’s clear that the state offers a diverse range of natural beauty and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike. From the peaceful waters of Lake Michigan to the charming lakeside communities of Lake County and the picturesque landscapes of Starved Rock State Park, there is no shortage of idyllic spots to relax and unwind. Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, or simply soaking in the serene surroundings, Illinois’ lakes have something to offer everyone. Which Illinois lake is your favorite spot to visit? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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