Lake Shelbyville Trails
Nature, hiking, and backpacking trails provide a variety of hiking opportunities. Precautions should be taken to stay on the marked path. Please remember to pack out what you pack in and leave the trail clean and safe for the next hiker.
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General Dacey Trail
Length: 4 miles start to finish
Located: Dam West Recreation Area and makes its way through Shelbyville's Forrest Park. The trail also has a trail head inside Forrest Park.
Coon Creek Nature Trail
Length: .7 mile
Located: in Coon Creek Recreation Area, this trail is self-guided. Among the highlights are a lookout tower and succession pond. A variety of trees, flowers, and ferns are identified along this truly scenic trail.
Length: 1978 YCC Bike/Hike Trail - 1.8 miles
Length: 1979 YCC Bike/Hike Trail - 5.0 miles
These trails, which are National Recreation Trails, were built by the Youth Conservation Corps. Both trails offer picturesque views of the lake. They each pass by small ponds which are not only photogenic but are excellent fishing sites as well. In addition to the 1979 trail, CIMBA has develop a five mile bike/hike trail that is ready for use.
A restored prairie is located at the trails entrance. Among the plants reintroduced in this area are Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, Indian Grass, Smooth Aster, Black-eyed Susan, and Purple Coneflower.
Okaw Bluff Trail
Length: 1.2 miles
Located: This trail is located at the entrance of the Okaw Bluff Group Camp. The trail, which winds along a bluff overlooking the lake and beside a 100 acre wetlands, includes two photographic stands and a wetland/waterfowl viewing stand. The Great Blue Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, and Canada Goose are a few of the species you may encounter. Be sure to bring a camera!
The Chief Illini Trail
Length: 11 miles
The Chief Illini Trail, a registered National Recreation Trail, is a scenic journey along the edge of Lake Shelbyville. This point- to-point trail winds across rolling hills and open prairies offering close-up views of the lake. You may begin the trail at either Lone Point Recreation Area or Eagle Creek State Park.
White blazes, post markings, and mile markers make this intermediate level trail easy to follow.
Little Chief Illini Trail
Length: first 2 miles of the Chief Illini Trail
Location: This trail begins at Lone Point Recreation Area and ends near Arrowhead Campground.
An open-air Adirondack shelter with a fire ring and picnic table is available near the end of the Little Chief Illini Trail by reservation only. Length of stay is for one night only. Overnight group size is limited to 20 people.
The shelter is for use by persons who hike the trail. Campers must arrive by walking from trail entrances located at either Lone Point or Eagle Creek. To reserve the shelter, contact the Lake Shelbyville Project Office at (217)774-3951.
Wolf Creek State Park offers a 15 mile equestrian trail which doubles as a snowmobile trail in the winter. There are several trails in Eagle Creek State Park including a three mile cross country trail. The Shelbyville Fish and Wildlife Management Area features a four mile scenic trail that passes the Coneflower Hill Prairie in the Fishhook Area.
Lake Shelbyville provides visitors an opportunity to experience over 50 miles of developed multi-purpose trails on public lands. The General Dacy Trail Concept Plan is a mult-partnered regional effort to expand recreational trail opportunities into a 170-mile trail network that will provide opportunities for bicycling, hiking, and other recreational trail uses, and provide off-road connectivity between local communities, public recreation areas and other interesting and scenic attractions in the region.
Lake Shelbyville offers some of the best mountain biking at the Camp Camfield section of the General Dacey Trail with 10.5 miles of trail currently available with a designated bike route connection to the City of Sullivan. A four-mile section in the City of Shelbyville to Forest Park and Dam West is currently being developed and will provide an opportunity for winter sports such as snowmobiling as well as warm weather activities.
In addition, Wolf Creek State Park provides the only Equestrian Trail on Lake Shelbyville with 15 miles of trail conveniently located adjacent to an equestrian campground. Other trails include the Illini Trail, Okaw Bluff, and Coon Creek Trail. Click here to visit the Dacey Trail website.
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