Spring Lake Fish and Wildlife Area is located
in Tazewell county, 25 miles southwest of Peoria on the east side of the
In 1950 the state made the initial land acquisition
of the 632 acres. The total acreage is now 2,032.
The lake lies almost parallel to the Illinois
river for 8.5 miles up the river bottoms along the base of the river's
east bluff. Spring Lake was described as a meander by an 1840 survey,
and title was given to the State of Illinois. Overlooked by a large sandstone
bluff, Spring Lake is a long, narrow lake created by a meander of the
Illinois River. The lake covers and area of 1,285 acres, has a maximum
depth of 10 feet and has 18 miles of shoreline.
The lake water level was raised by the construction
of a higher dike in the late 1950's. The expanded lake was completely
filled by 1960. The new lake was completely filled by 1960. The new lake
is nearly twice the size of the old Spring Lake and has also inundated
another lake known as Saiwell Lake.
The lake is divided into two separate lakes.
North lake has largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, muskie, channel catfish,
sunfish, bullheads, and carp. The south lake has largemouth bass, bluegill,
crappie, channel catfish, northern pike, sunfish, and carp.
There is one gravel and one concrete launching
ramps on the north lake. South Lake has one concrete boat launching ramp.
Boat motors are limited to 25 horsepower and there are creel and length
limits on most species. Ice fishing is permitted, but caution should be
used due to underwater springs, which can weaken ice.
Hikers can enjoy five trails within the park.
The Stage Coach Road hiking trail is 2 1/2 miles long, Deer Run hiking
trail is 1/2 mile long, and the Whispering Pine hiking trail is divided
into three separate trails of 1/2, 1 1/2 miles, and 2 1/2 miles.
squirrel and deer archery hunting are allowed at Spring Lake. Please check
with site personnel concerning site regulations, season dates, limits,
and designated hunting areas.
Hunter Fact Sheet | Duck Hunting Fact Sheet | Manito Hunter Fact Sheet | Pekin Lake Fact Sheet | Powerton Lake Fact Sheet
Early residents of the Spring Lake area were mound building Native Americans. The most noted tribes throughout the river valley at the time the French arrived included the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Tamaroa and Michigamie. Most of the Native American people were driven out of the valley by around 1770, and tribal remnants ceded last claims to the area in 1833. White settlement of the Spring Lake valley began around 1830.
Steamboats penetrated up the Illinois River
to Peoria in 1829 and by the mid-1800s a significant commerce developed
along the river in commodities such as grain and meat. Spring Lake at
that time became a feeder-type waterway joined to the river by a backwater
Establishment of the Spring Lake Drainage
and Levee District in 1903 resulted in construction of a large dike around
the bottoms containing Spring Lake, and boat access to the river was no
longer possible. Therefore, the Drainage District was required to construct
a marine railway over the dike to accommodate water traffic. Legend has
it the railway was used only once, eventually fell into disrepair and
was abandoned. Spring Lake also was used by shallow draft vessels for
navigational purposes until about 1915.
There are five day use/picnic areas at Spring
Lake. Two of these areas provide shelters. All five areas have picnic tables. A concessionaire, located near the south boat ramp,
provides boat rentals.
Campground and Oak Campground, located in the north park, are Class C
campgrounds (no showers or electric sites). Sixty sites provide tent
A Class D, walk-in campground is located
in the south park for tent camping only. Group camping is permitted in
this campground. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the campgrounds.
Dickson Mounds Museum - Is an Illinois State Museum and a National Historic Site, is one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the United States. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of the American Indian. Located approximately 30 miles southwest of Spring Lake near Lewistown, Illinois. There is no admission charge. Phone number (309) 547-3721.
Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery - Located atop a natural aquifer the hatchery can simultaneously accommodate 16 different species of fish and produce some 42 million fish annually. The hatchery's Visitor Center contains an antique fishing tackle exhibit featuring over 200 artifacts. Located approximately 10 miles south of Spring Lake near Topeka, Illinois. There is no admission charge. Phone number (309) 968-7531.
From the city of Pekin, take Illinois Rte
29 south approximately 1 mile to Manito Rd, turn right (west) and go 10
miles to Spring Lake Rd (1000 N), turn right (west) and go 3 miles to
North Park Entrance. You will then be able to follow signs to the South
If traveling north on IL Rte 29, at the town
of Green Valley, turn left (west) on Toboggan Avenue (6000 N) and go 7.5
miles to Manito Road (2960 E), turn right (north) and go 4 miles (through
the town of Manito) to Spring Lake Road (1000 N), turn left (west) and
go 3 miles to North Park Entrance. You will then be able to follow signs
to the South Park.
- While groups of 25 or
more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required
to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling
- At least one responsible
adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on
leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can
result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park
office before you make your trip.
- We hope you enjoy your
stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
- For more information
on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community
Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
- Telecommunication Device
for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175
for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.