Cedar Lake is a 1,750-acre lake surrounded by cedar trees, hardwood forests, and limestone bluffs. The southern end of the lake is encompassed by Shawnee National Forest while the city of Carbondale maintains the northern end. Poplar Camp Beach in the northern end features family friendly swimming and a public beach. Kayaking, canoeing, and boating, with motors under 10hp, are popular activities on the lake. There are two boat access areas, one in the north, run by Carbondale, and one in the south, run by the forest service. Anglers will find excellent fishing for black and white crappie, largemouth bass, and redear sunfish, plus improving striped bass opportunities. Hiking trails are a great way for visitors to view abundant wildlife, including white-tailed deer, raccoon, and wild turkey. Archery white-tailed deer hunting is available on the northern portion of the lake.