Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor

DNR Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 About DNR
 Agency Offices
 Disabled Outdoors
 Get Involved
 Grant Info
 IDNR Home
 Kids & Education
 Mandatory Safety Programs
 Lodges / Leasing
 More Links
 Outdoor Recreation
 Parks & Recreation
 State Museums
 Endangered Species

[IL Search Tips]
Illinois Gallery Website
Enjoy Illinois

  Argyle Lake - State Park   

Northwest Region

640 Argyle Park Road
Colchester, IL 62326
Sun setting over Argyle Lake
Boating Fishing Interpretive Center
Camping Hiking Picnicking
Concession History Winter Sports
Directions Horseback Riding  
Events Hunting  

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, natural setting.

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 Illinois.

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, gatherings, etc.


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 available. Reservations are accepted.

Concession and Restaurant

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.

Family going canoeingBoatingand Fishing

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.

Equestrian Facilities

For equestrian enthusiasts there is a rugged, 7-mile equestrian trail. An equestrian campground also is available.


Upland game hunting is allowed on a limited basis. Please check with the park office for specific dates, species and regulations.  Hunter Fact Sheet

Events | Interpretive Programs

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.

Winter Sports

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.

  • While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
  • At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
  • Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
  • Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
  • We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
  • For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
  • Telecommunication Device for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175 for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.

Parks & Recreation

Illinois Dept.of Natural Resources
Office of Land Management
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
 Camping Fees
 Becoming an Outdoors Woman
 Under Illinois Skies
 Site Map
 Visitor Comment Card

Copyright © 2003 Department of Natural Resources Privacy Kids Privacy Web Accessibility FAQs Contact