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Kinkaid Lake & Trail System - Shawnee National Forest

State Route 151, Ava IL 62907 | 618-833-8576
Southernmost Illinois

Kinkaid Lake is considered one of the most scenic lakes in Illinois. At 2,750 acres, it is also one of the larger lakes in southern Illinois. While most of the lake is surrounded by Shawnee National Forest land, a portion of the lake is bordered by state land that is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Kinkaid Lake has more than 30 miles of trails for hiking and equestrian use that offer opportunities for a relaxing walk in the woods while watching birds and wildlife or longer backpacking trips. Dispersed primitive camping, with restrictions, is allowed on forest service land. Boaters can access the lake at two boat ramps on forest service property or additional ramps on state land. Anglers will enjoy great fishing opportunities for crappie, muskellunge, largemouth bass, channel cat, and walleye among others. A favorite swimming hole can be found near the spillway. Hunting, for deer, turkey, waterfowl, and more, is available on federal and state land and is regulated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


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