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Status: Open through Tue Sep 30 2014   Season Dates


Dam West Day Use Area offers reservable group picnic shelters on the shore of Lake Shelbyville in the heart of central Illinois.

The lake and surrounding land offer outdoor activities for people of all ages, including fishing, swimming, picnicking and simply relaxing. Boaters have year-round access to the lake, even during high lake elevations.

Natural Features:

This facility is mostly open with a clear view of the lake. About half of the land around the lake is forested, with oak and hickory as the dominant species. Foliage turns a variety of red, orange, purple and yellow each fall, while prairie flowers dot the landscape in spring and summer.

Numerous species of songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors inhabit the lake area, as do mammals such as cottontail rabbit, white-tail deer, gray and fox squirrel, muskrat and mink.


Boaters have access to a multi-lane boat ramp and courtesy dock, and hikers can explore the shore using a number of trails. The General Dacey Trail begins at Dam West Recreation Area and makes its way through Shelbyville's Forrest Park.

Lake Shelbyville offers a multitude of fishing opportunities for catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, muskie, walleye, white bass and bluegill. For those without a boat, several managed ponds with farmed fish are available around the lake.

Hunting areas, located a short drive away, offer numerous game species, including quail, rabbit, pheasant, deer, dove, turkey, waterfowl and woodcock.


Dam West Day Use Area has four group picnic shelters; three can accommodate about 50 people each, while one can host up to 100. The shelters each have six picnic tables, and the facility provides volleyball courts, a large public beach with showers and a playground.

Nearby Attractions:

Wolf Creek State Park, Woods Lake Waterfowl Refuge and Okaw Bluff Wetlands Complex are popular locations for wildlife watching, birding and hunting near Lake Shelbyville.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Playground
  • Accessible Swimming
  • Beach
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Dock
  • Electric Hookups
  • Entrance Station
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • Grills
  • Paved Roads
  • Pay Phone
  • Picnic Tables
  • Showers
  • Swimming
  • Visitor Center
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Water Spigot
Know Before You Go
  • No alcohol permitted in beach area
  • No outside firewood allowed; obtain or purchase firewood at or near your camping destination and burn it on-site; firewood can carry invasive insects and diseases that destroy forests; learn more
  • $3 per day boat launch fee; $1 per person per day to use the beach; total fee will not exceed $4 per vehicle per day; no day use fees charged for children under 13 years old or those camped in Army Corps campgrounds

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
39.41639, -88.785
39°24'59"N, 88°47'6"W

The Dam West area is located immediately east of Shelbyville, Illinois. From East Main Street, turn north onto East Road and drive toward the dam. Take a right onto north 9th Street into the recreation area.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

RR 4 BOX 128 B

Phone Number:

Information: (217)774-3951