Description - *This information was provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources*
Wildlife abounds in the Washington County State Recreation Area located four miles south of Nashville in southern Illinois. Visitors will marvel at the sight of rabbit, quail, squirrel, dove, deer and woodcock among the stands of pines, brushy draws and fallow fields. The beautiful Washington County Lake makes this site a special place for relaxing or fishing. Whether boating on its 248 acres, or fishing or hiking its 13-mile shoreline, the lake offers a perfect opportunity for family fun. This natural area has more than 900 acres for hunting, making it a paradise for shotgun or bow and arrow sportsmen. Whether camping, hunting, fishing, boating, hiking or picnicking, you will find Washington County State Recreation Area has what you are looking for.
In 1959, the State of Illinois purchased 160 acres of natural area near Nashville which provided excellent cover and food for upland game. Additional acreage has been added in succeeding years, currently totaling 1,440 acres. In 1960 the Department of Natural Resources constructed the lake in the areas between two small creeks. This long, thin lake is surrounded by fields and woods. With the addition of picnic and camping areas, this site has become a popular visiting site for outdoorsmen and nature lovers.
Enjoying the out-of-doors is easy with tent and trailer spaces readily accessible. Electricity and disposal are available for trailers. A shower building is also located in the camping area.
For boaters, two launching ramps are available as well as boat docks. There is a limit of 10 horsepower for motorboats. Both boats and motor boats are available for rental for fishing or just a ride on the lake.
Recreation - Fishing-
Fishermen will delight at the possibilities for catching their limits of largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish and carp.
Acre after acre of wildlife habitat will challenge all levels of sportsman. Shotgun and archery hunting are allowed, with an abundance of deer, turkey, and small game available. All hunters must check in at the check site. Contact the site ranger for game species, hunting times and regulations.
For an invigorating walk, a seven-mile-long, marked trail is available. This trail circles the lake and hikers can enjoy viewing the majestic trees, beautiful wildflowers or the numerous birds and animals residing in the area.
For a special afternoon get away, the seven picnic areas scattered around the lake provide a perfect setting. They are located in heavily wooded, grassy areas and have tables, outdoor stoves, drinking water and playground equipment. Whether you choose Ponderosa, Lazy L, or one of the other picnic sites, you will be assured of scenic surroundings. Bring your own picnic basket, or purchase sandwiches and soft drinks at the concession stand.
Climate - Illinois experiences four distinct seasons with varying weather throughout the year. Winter can be very cold. The highest humidity of the year occurs during this season averaging 70 to 75 percent. Average low temperatures in January dip to 20 degrees F with highs near 35 degrees F. Spring temperatures are mild with humidity below 70 percent. Temperatures during this season average between 32 and 50 degrees F. Summer is usually hot and humid in this Midwest state. Low temperatures remain in the low sixties with high temperatures near 90 degrees F. The highest rainfall of the year occurs during the summer months. Fall is an excellent time to visit the state with low humidity and rainfall and moderate temperatures.
Interstate 64 runs east and west across the state and passes 7 miles north of Washington County State Recreation Area. Get off of the interstate at exit 50 and this puts you on Illinois Route 127 and go through the city of Nashville. Continue on 127 for 4 miles and a large sign on the east side of the highway 127 will be the entrance to Washington County State Recreation Area.