Known as a fisherman's
delight, Argyle Lake State Park has a full complement of recreational
opportunities. Just 7 miles from Macomb, Argyle Lake also offers
picnicking, camping, hiking and boating facilities in a scenic,
With its 93-acre lake for boating and
fishing, 5 miles of rugged foot trails through luxuriant virgin
forests, and full-service campgrounds, this heavily wooded, 1,700-acre
site is the ideal place to spend a day, a weekend, or longer.
Rich in local history, Argyle Hollow
(now occupied by the lake) was once part of the old stage route
between Galena and Beardstown. Several times a week the high-wheeled
cumbersome coaches with their double teams of horses rumbled through
these beautiful hills and valleys.
The region itself long was a source
of coal, clay and limestone. In fact, in times past it was common
for individuals to open and dig their own "drift mines"
to supplement their personal incomes. Several limestone quarries
in the general area still are in operation today.
In 1948, the state purchased the land
from local farmers and homesteaders, erected the dam which created
the lake and dedicated Argyle Lake State Park to the citizens of
Today, whether your preference is viewing
wildflowers and fresh foliage in the spring, picnicking, fishing
and boating in the summer, appreciating the brilliant fall colors
or sledding and snowmobiling in the winter, Argyle Lake State Park
is a great place to visit.
How long has it been since you've packed
a picnic lunch and headed for a park? At Argyle Lake State Park
there are 10 shaded picnic areas placed conveniently throughout
the area, with tables, grills and water. There's
also a playground located close to the three larger shelters to
keep the children busy that features swings and a slide. The
shelters are available for people to reserve for family reunions,
For longer visits, the park contains
86 Class A campsites, 24 Class B, 18 Class C, sites, featuring vehicle
access and restrooms, and 31 Class D (primitive) sites. Electrical
hookups, a disposal station and restrooms with showers are also
The concession stand is located near
the boat dock. There are boat rentals, bait, firewood, snacks and
ice for sale. The hours for
the bait shop are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week.
The 5 miles of foot trails provide
unparalleled scenic enjoyment. There are 12 trails and most are
classified as difficult to very difficult, but Blackberry and Pitch
Pine trails are rated as moderate. Be sure to look for the beaver
dams along Shore Trail. There also are more than 200 bird species
that call Argyle Lake home.
The lake is stocked with bluegill,
redear, channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, tiger muskie
and rainbow trout. There is a 10 horsepower motor limit, and a public
boat launch and docks are available for boats and pontoons. Canoe
and boat rentals also are available.
For equestrian enthusiasts there is
a rugged, 7-mile equestrian trail. An equestrian campground also
Upland game hunting is allowed on a
limited basis. Please check with the park office for specific dates,
species and regulations. Hunter
Argyle Lake is the site of the Argyle
Antique Gas Engine Show, a festive celebration of times past. It's
a great way to spend Labor Day weekend. You'll see demonstrations
of wheat threshing, hay baling, sawmilling, sorghum making and blacksmithing.
You can also watch crafts persons make quilts, whittle and make
rugs. In addition, hundreds of antique tractors, cars and gas engines
are on display. For bargain hunters, there also is a giant fleamarket.
Open year-round, Argyle Lake State
Park is ideally suited for ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling,
cross-country skiing, sledding or just playing in the snow.
From Chicago, take either Interstate
80 or Interstate 88 west to Interstate 74. Take Interstate 74 South
to Route 34. Take Route 34 West to Route 67. Take Route 67 South
to Route 136. Take Route 136 West to Colchester and the park is
2 miles north of Colchester on Coal Road. Coal Road runs north of
the Sinclair Station in Colchester.