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  Argyle Lake Visitors Center  

sunset over lakeARGYLE LAKE STATE PARK
640 Argyle Park Road
Colchester, Illinois 62326
(309) 776-3422

Program Schedule






Visitor Center Information

The Argyle Lake State Park visitor center features several informative, hands-on displays which focus on the local flora and fauna of the park. Several hands-on displays include a track table, touch box, and animal pelts. The center features four displays from the Illinois State Museum’s traveling exhibit program including the following topics: oak-hickory forests, animal tracks, insects of Illinois, and dimorphism (the differences between the male and female of a species). Various free publications are available including several state park brochures and the Illinois State Park magazine. The visitor center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. unless otherwise posted.

Argyle Lake State Park - 2013 Interpretive Program Schedule

Printable Schedule


Friends of Argyle Lake State Park –
Spring Exotic Plant Removal Workday

Saturday, June 1, 2013
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Come and spend a few hours outdoors helping the Friends of Argyle and park staff remove nonnative plants from the woods at Argyle.  Litter collecting is an option for younger volunteers.  Bring a sack lunch and enjoy a picnic after you work!  Tools and gloves will be provided or bring your own.  Meet at the park visitor center.  For more information, call the park visitor center at (309)776-3422.

IDNR Free Fishing Days
June 7 - June 10, 2013
The Illinois Department of Natural resources allows people of any age to fish without a fishing license or stamp one four day weekend in June every year.  The dates for Illinois’ 2013 Free Fishing Days are Friday, June 7th - Monday, June 10th, 2012.

Youth Fishing Derby
Saturday, June 8th – 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.
The Youth Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, June 8th at the area near the bait shop.  Kids can bring their own poles or fishing poles will also be available for children to borrow.  All children must be chaperoned by an adult.  FREE hot dogs will be provided by the friends of Argyle Lake State Park for all children who participate in the derby. Prizes & certificates will be awarded at 11:30 a.m. for ‘Most Fish’ and ‘Largest Fish’ for five age categories (3 & under, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 & 13-15).  Prizes provided courtesy of the IDNR and Friends of Argyle Lake State Park.

2013 Kayaking Tours of Lake Argyle

Saturday, June 15th – 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 13th – 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 10th – 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 7th – 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 5th – 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 2nd – 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Join us for a morning of paddling and enjoying nature on beautiful Lake Argyle.  Kayaks, paddles, and life jackets are being provided by the Friends of Argyle.  Ten kayaks are available, so space is limited to the first 10 people to register for each tour.   Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  Meet at the parking area near the concession for this program.  Please call the park visitor center for more information or to register (309)776-3422.

Reptiles & Amphibians of Illinois
Saturday, June 29, 2013 – 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Come and learn about the many reptiles and amphibians found across Illinois from local herpetologist and WIU professor Dr. Mike Romano.  A few live specimens, which may include one of Illinois’ four venomous snakes, a nonvenomous snake, a box turtle, and frog(s),  will be available for viewing (and optional handling). Children will receive handouts to learn more about these interesting creatures and experience many hands-on activities!  Meet at the park’s Pioneer shelter for this program.


Wildlife Prairie State Park
Raptor & Wildlife Program
Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Celebrate the 4th of July weekend at Argyle Lake State Park learning about native Illinois wildlife and raptors. Naturalists from Wildlife Prairie State Park will share some interesting facts about several native Illinois animals. This program will be held at the park’s Prairieview shelter.  For more information, please call the park office at (309)776-3422.


Summer Stargazing
Saturday, July 13, 2013 – 9:00 - 10:30 p.m.
Join us for an evening of summer stargazing with WIU astronomy professor Tom Van Heuklon and astronomy hobbyist Larry Knicl.  Saturn and several constellations may be visible if weather conditions are clear.  This program will be held at the park’s Sunset shelter (1st left turn upon entering the park).  For your comfort, bring a chair or blanket, insect repellent, and a flashlight. This program may be canceled if weather conditions are bad or visibility is poor. Please call (309)776-3422 if visibility/weather conditions are questionable (a recording will be left in the event the program must be canceled).

Illinois Bats: Facts and Myths
Saturday, August 24, 2013 – 7-8:30 p.m.
Join us at Argyle Lake as we learn about our only flying mammal....BATS!!! Local  educator, Mary McMahon will dispel  many myths about bats during this informative and entertaining presentation about these mysterious mammals.  Participants will have the opportunity to listen to nearby bats feeding on flying insects using an echolocation detection device. Many informative handouts will be available.  Meet at the Pioneer shelter for this program.


Owl Prowl
Saturday, September 7, 2013 – 8:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Join us for a hootin’ good time on an evening “owl prowl” at Argyle Lake State Park.  Participants will learn about the owl’s many unique hunting adaptations and its diet by dissecting an owl pellet. We will use a recording of various owl calls to encourage the owls to call back to us.  Meet at the park’s Pioneer shelter for this program. 


Friends of Argyle Lake State Park – Lake Exploration Day
Saturday, September 7, 2013 – 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Come join the members of the Friends of Argyle foundation for a day of lake exploration!  Many activities will be offered including lake education activities, fishing, kayaking, and pontoon boat rides.  Hot dogs will be provided and fishing poles will be available.  Meet at the lake near the bait shop for this event.  Call the visitor center for specific activity details and times at (309)776-3422. 

Fall Leaf Collection Hike
Saturday, September 21, 2013 – 10 a.m. - Noon
Make a fall leaf collection before the trees lose their leaves for the winter.  We will meet at the visitor center at 10 a.m. and hike 1-2 miles on moderate terrain.


Fall Colors Nature Hike
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 – 10 a.m. - Noon
As the breezes become a little brisk and the days begin to shorten, nature begins the process of preparing for the cold winter months ahead.  Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy nature and the magnificent colors of autumn throughout the park.  We will meet at the visitor center at 10 a.m. and hike 1-2 miles on moderate terrain.


Woodland Wonders Nature Hike
Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 10 a.m. - Noon
Explore the wonders of nature and discuss how wildlife prepares for the cold winter months to come on this morning hike on one of Argyle’s most popular trails.  Hike will begin at 10 a.m. at the visitor center and conclude by noon. 


Winter Woodland Wonders Nature Hike
Saturday, December 14, 2013 – 10 a.m. - Noon
Join the site interpreter as we explore the trails of the park in search of the many wonders of winter just waiting to be discovered.  Hike topics may include how animals survive in winter, identifying tracks and other wildlife signs, winter tree ID and the mysteries of snow and snowflakes.  Hike will begin at 10 a.m. at the park visitor center.


For more specific program information or to make special arrangements, please call the park visitor center at (309)776-3422 or email Bridget.Hinchee@illinois.gov.


General Program Information:

Meet at the park visitor center for all hikes and programs unless otherwise indicated in above program descriptions.

All programs are open to the general public. Please contact park staff with any special needs or concerns prior to the program date, so requested  arrangements /accommodations can be made.

For more specific program information  or to register for a program, please call the park visitor center at (309)776-3422 or email Bridget.Hinchee@illinois.gov.




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