Randolph County State Recreation Area is a mecca for outdoor recreational activities. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, boating, hunting and camping are just a few of the choices, keeping even the most outdoorsman content on 1,101 acres. Located five miles north east of Chester in Randolph County, it lies in the rolling hill country of southern Illinois. Offering a cool retreat from hot summer days, well shaded picnic areas, hiking trails and scenic forest stands await park visitors. There’s a diverse offering at beautiful Randolph County State Recreation Area.
Randolph County Lake is a clear-water lake and is stocked with channel catfish, redear and bluegill sunfish, walleye, saugeye and rainbow trout. Game fish such as largemouth bass, green sunfish, bullhead and crappie also can be found so no angler should be disappointed. A concession stand has fishing supplies and bait as well as rental boats on a seasonal basis. Boat motors are limited to 10 horsepower.
The area is renowned for its wooded areas and abundance of songbirds and wildlife. Hikers on the trail may see woodpeckers, hawks, turkeys, deer, squirrels and waterfowl as they wind through woods and open fields, and around the lakeshore. 11.6 miles of horse trails provide riders with the same panorama of sights and sounds.
Ninety-five Class C campsites are available throughout the area. A group camp area has its own shelter, stone fireplace, electricity and tables.
A wonderful escape from a hot summer day awaits visitors in any of the six picnic areas. Nestled among hickory, oak, sweetgum and tulip trees, the picnic areas have shelters, tables, fire grills, and water fountains. Some of the shelters can be reserved, so plan ahead and bring your family and friends.
Squirrel hunters will find plenty of grey and fox squirrels which can be hunted with shotgun or bow. Dove, deer, rabbit, quail and woodcock are popular game species. Hunters must check at the park office for a hunter fact sheet, map and regulations.
On cold, wintry days, the horse trails provide a perfect path for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. For nature observers, winter is a great time to see many varieties of wildlife along the hiking trails and scenic areas.
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