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Southwestern Region
South Shore State Park
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20100 Hazlet Park Rd.
Carlyle, Illinois   62231

Phone: 618-594-3015
Email: park email button icon
Carlyle Lake, which at 26,000 acres is the largest manmade reservoir in Illinois, is home to South Shore State Park. Located on land leased by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the 3-mile-long park is situated on the lake's southeast side, approximately 3 miles east of the city of Carlyle on Illinois Route 50.

Managed to preserve its natural and cultural resources, the park also provides recreational opportunities, including small-boat access, a Class C campground with vehicular access, five day-use areas for picnicking, two 3/4-mile hiking trails that also are used periodically as a 3-D archery ranges, as well as outstanding bank-fishing opportunities. Observing wildlife, especially white-tailed deer, is another popular activity.
Nature of the Area
South Shore State Park is host to many wildlife species. In addition to deer, the park is inhabited by red foxes, raccoons, squirrels, woodchucks, quail, doves and songbirds, including bluebirds. Bluebird boxes, other nest structures and brush piles have been placed throughout the park. Local wildlife populations also benefit from the restoration of native prairie grasses along the park's roadways. More than 200,000 waterfowl stop at the lake on their migratory travels north and south each winter. Along with waterfowl, other types of birds commonly seen at the park include herons and egrets, shorebirds, songbirds and raptors.
Hickory Hollow Campground features vehicular access for 33 tents or trailers, with a sanitary disposal station located nearby. Neither electricity nor showers are available to campers. With its position along Carlyle Lake, the campgound offers tremendous lake views and allows many campers to keep their boats in the protected coves of the campground's shoreline. All campers must obtain a permit from park staff before entering the campground. Hickory Hollow is an alcohol-free campground.
A boat-launching area for small boats is found at the Deer Run Access Area, located at the northern part of the park. Immediately adjacent to the park is a large-boat ramp operated by the Corps of Engineers. No boat rental is available within the park. Motor size is not limited and sailboats are welcome on the lake.

Many of the access areas have been riprapped to protect the shores from erosion. These areas also provide good fishing spots. Anglers can catch crappie, largemouth bass, white bass, walleye, bluegill, sunfish, channel catfish, carp and suckers.

South Shore State Park is located near Centralia

Roads wind through the park to various access points and to five day-use areas, which are well equipped with tables and grills. Bluebell and Crappie Cove picnic areas have shelters to accommodate large family reunions and other gatherings, with groups of 25 or more people needing to obtain advance permission from the park office. Water fountains and toilet facilities are conveniently located. There is no concession stand.
Area Attractions
In addition to the conveniences featured at South Shore State Park, most Carlyle Lake visitors will want to look into the facilities offered by the Corps of Engineers and another Department of Natural Resources site, Eldon Hazlet State Park. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates several campgrounds, boat access areas, swimming beaches and other facilities around the lake.

For further information, call the Carlyle Lake Management Office at (618) 594-2484 or the Visitor Center at (618) 594-LAKE. The Corps also operates an information line, (618) 594-4637, featuring a recorded update on weather conditions, lake level and water temperature, fishing reports and seasonal information on recreational opportunities.

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Illinois State Parks