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Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

620 County Road 1910 North
Johnsonville, IL 62850

618-835-2292

Gently rolling terrain, lush woods and a beautiful lake make the Sam Dale Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area the perfect spot for a family outing. Located northwest of Johnsonville in Wayne County, this area has something for everyone: fishing, hunting, picnicking, and camping. Visitors may see quail, rabbit, dove, squirrel, deer, muskrat, fox, raccoon, owls, turkey, hawk, wood **** or beaver roaming the timber or brushy fields of the park. The highlight of a visit here is the Sam Dale Lake, a beautiful 194 acre lake with 5 miles of shoreline trails to enjoy or explore. In addition, several smaller ponds are home to fish and wildlife.

History

The initial 40-acre piece of land was purchased in 1959. Since then, additional land has been added bringing the total to 1,302 acres. The site was named for Sam O. Dale, an eight-term state representative who also served as a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools in Hamilton County.

Gently rolling terrain, lush woods and a beautiful lake make the Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area the perfect spot for a family outing. Located northwest of Johnsonville in Wayne County, this area has something for everyone: fishing, hunting, picnicking, and camping. Visitors may see quail, rabbit, dove, squirrel, deer, muskrat, fox, raccoon, owls, turkey, hawk, wood **** or beaver roaming the timber or brushy fields of the park. The highlight of a visit is the Sam Dale Lake, a beautiful 194-acre lake with 5 miles of shoreline trails to enjoy or explore. In addition, several smaller ponds are home to fish and wildlife.

Activities

Hunting
Hunters will be delighted with rolling open fields interspersed by evergreen plantings and fence rows which are perfect game hunting habitat. Hunting is restricted to the 930 acres posted for hunting. For the convenience of visitors, Windshield Cards for hunting can be obtained online for archery deer hunting, fall archery turkey hunting, squirrel, dove, rabbit, quail, and furbearer trappers. The Windshield Card permit must be displayed in the windshield while hunting or trapping. All hunting is to be with shotgun or bow and arrow only.

Fishing
The long, narrow lake at Sam Dale Lake SFWA has many curves and fingers, making it an ideal setting for the avid fisherman. Species available include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie and channel catfish. Two launching ramps, boat docks, several floating fishing docks and rental boats are available. The motor limit is 10 HP. A concession stand sells fishing bait near the boat dock area.

Camping
Two Class B/E campgrounds provide the overnight visitor with necessary amenities in a shady, secluded section of the park. These campsites have electricity and a sanitary dump station. One has a playground close by for small children. Tent and group camping areas also are available, including a handicapped pad in one campground.

Hiking
Hikers at Sam Dale Lake SFWA will delight at the sights and sounds along the 3.2-mile nature trail as it winds through the wooded area in a circular pattern with three major loops. The trail skirts the lake for an easy side trip to the shore. A 1.6-mile trail from the group campground area to the dam winds along the lake.
 
Picnicking
The tall, shady trees and plentiful flowers and greenery beckon many nature-lovers to the Sam Dale Lake picnic areas. Three picnic areas have shelters and are reservable online through the Reserve America website at www.reserveamerica.com.  Several picnic areas are available with tables, drinking fountains, and outdoor stoves. Playground equipment is nearby. A concession stand offers sandwiches and cold drinks

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