Rolling hills, timbered shoreline
and beautiful Ramsey Lake make this state recreation area a unique and
popular recreation spot. Visitors will enjoy the picturesque woods, secluded
picnic areas and excellent fishing and hunting opportunities. Ramsey Lake
State Recreation Area is the perfect place for people who want to relax
or for those energetic outdoor types who want to hike, hunt, fish or camp.
The park is located mile northwest of Ramsey in Fayette County.
Ramsey Lake has a colorful
background. For years, the park was known as "Old Fox Chase Grounds"
because of its use by fox and coon hunters. It also was the site of one
of the largest dog trial events, which was held near the big springs at
the northwest corner of the present lake. Other events, such as dances,
carnivals and a large machinery display, attracted many people. Although
privately owned by S.E. Stokes, the site often was used by various groups
for public recreational use. In 1947, 815 acres were purchased for a lake
site and an additional 1,000 acres have been added since. Throughout the
years, county and township officials, concerned citizens and civic groups
have actively helped secure land and upgrade and maintain the area,
which now totals 1,980 acres.
For large groups, Shady Grove
and Lakeview picnic areas offer ideal surroundings. Both have shelters,
water, tables, stoves and privies. Shady Grove also has playground equipment.
For people who prefer smaller, more secluded picnics, Fox Knoll, Coon
Ridge and Blackberry Fork Picnic areas are popular choices. These sites
have tables and stoves and are located in shady areas on knolls overlooking
Campers have many sites from
which to choose to pitch a tent or park a trailer. The area includes 90
campsites available with a sanitary disposal station, electricity, and
a flush toilet and shower building. Another 24 sites are available with
electricity for organized groups. Hickory Grove is the choice for those
needing only picnic tables, fire pads and privies. Hickory Grove also
has 45 sites available in a densely wooded area with unequalled views
of shady trees and natural beauty. Water hydrants are conveniently placed
throughout the campgrounds. A special site is available for organized
youth groups. Reservations
are available for portions of the campgrounds. Contact the site office
A 1-mile trail winds through
the park. Visitors also often use the unmarked fire lanes which make good
paths for easy walking.
A 13-mile horse trail is located in the north end of the area along with a small campground
for horse enthusiasts. This area is 1 mile north of the park entrance.
Fishing is a favorite pastime
for Ramsey Lake visitors. To maintain a desirable fish population, the
lake is managed by draw-downs and stocking. Some of the species include
largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and black
Fishing supplies are available at the concession stand.
A launching ramp and boat
dock are conveniently located on Ramsey Lake, rental boats also are available. Gas motors are not allowed, but electric trolling motors are
permitted. Fishing is allowed on several ponds located at the site
as well as on Ramsey Lake.
Hunters will find abundant
game at Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area. Dove, squirrel, quail and pheasant
can be hunted with shotgun. Deer can be hunted only with bow. A controlled
pheasant and quail program is run during the hunting season. Other hunting
dates and times may differ from state regulations. For more information
see the Hunter
Winter activities are
popular at Ramsey Lake. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing,
sledding and ice skating are among recreational activities for the
cold-weather sports enthusiast. The 13-mile designated snowmobile trail
provides a winter wonderland view of the park when snow cover and weather
A concession stand near the boat dock, offers visitors opportunites to purchase food and
a variety of camping, picnicking and fishing supplies.
- 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.