Visitors Guide to the
Kinkaid Lake
Jackson County, Illinois

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing Horseback Riding Trails Accessible Fishing Opportunities Boat Ramps Hunting Opportunities Swimming Opportunities Camping Facilities Accessible Restrooms


Lake Kinkaid is a 2,750 acres body of water located in the Shawnee Hills region of southwestern Illinois. The lake was built in 1968 and ownership of the surrounding land is divided among the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and the Kinkaid-Reed's Creek Conservancy District. Topography around the lake varies from sandstone bluff formations to rolling hills where oaks and hickories predominate. Numerous flat contours are planted with prairie grasses, cool-season grasses and wildlife food plots. The lake attracts anglers because of its abundance of game fish. With over 90 miles of shoreline, water depths to 75 feet, and an abundance of gizzard shad and spotted suckers, Kinkaidís game fish grow quickly due to the nearly year-round growing season. Natural strain muskellunges were first stocked at Kinkaid in 1985, and the lake began producing 40" fish by 1990. Other game fish that can be caught are big walleye, bass, crappies, and white bass. Four boat ramps are available to the public with a full-service marina available. No horsepower restrictions apply, although numerous no-wake areas exist on the lake.

Picnic tables, shelters, charcoal grills and restroom facilities are provided at Johnson Creek Recreation Area and Paul Ice Recreation Area, which also has playground equipment. Camping is permitted by the U.S. Forest Service, Kinkaid-Reed's Creek Conservancy District, and at Johnson Creek Recreation Area at Kinkaid Village Marina. Camping is not allowed on DNR property.


Bird Watching
The Lake Kinkaid area is listed on the National Audubon Society's Great River Birding Trail and contains about 10,000 acres of mostly upland forest. Some open grassy and prairie areas are also present. Look for common woodland birds in the forested areas and various waterbirds around the lake. Spring bird migration brings everything from scarlet tanagers to the rose-breasted grosbeak and a slew of warblers.

  Visiting the Lake Kinkaid
          6 am - 10 pm

There is no charge to visit Lake Kinkaid.
Directions: The three recreation areas located on the lake can be accessed from County Road 7 (Ava Road) north of Murphysboro and IL-151 northwest of Murphysboro.
  Learn more about the Jackson County area.  
General John A. Logan
Sikeston Depot
Cultural Center
Giant City
State Park
Tower Rock
Conservation Area
  Regional Guides
to the Middle Mississippi River Valley
  Meeting of the Great Rivers
National Scenic Byway
Ste. Genevieve &
French Colonial Country
Gateway to the West
St. Louis & St. Louis County
   Meeting the Missouri
Historic St. Charles County
The Lincoln Hills Region
Northeast Missouri
  The Tri-States Area
Iowa, Illinois & Missouri
The Mississippi River
Meets the Ohio River Home Page
Your index to over 800 informative pages covering the Middle Mississippi River Valley.
  At we strive for accuracy.
If you have any corrections, suggestions or information
you would like to see contact the webmaster.
For advertising information contact marketing.
Copyright 2001-2011 - Elsah, Illinois