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Argyle Lake State Park
640 Argyle Park Road
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.
Boating and 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.
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.
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.