Eagle Watching!


A family of eagles has made its home year-round on the lake for the past several years. Viewing opportunities of the eagles’ nest are accessible by land (through the Shoal Creek Conservation Area) and water, making eagle watching a popular activity at Lake Lou.

Camping Rates

Open April 1 - October 31
Cabin Rental
Daily $40
Sleeping cabin for 4 with air/heat, electric, fire ring, picnic table, restrooms and shower house nearby, 3 cabins available

Campground Daily $20
Electric, water, shower house, horseshoe pits, ADA accessible, dump station nearby

Primitive and Horse Camping
Daily $12 per tent

For Reservations call 217-324-4771 For general information call 217-324-5441

boatThe Centerpiece of Litchfield’s Visitor Attractions

Get away to 1400-acre Lake Lou Yaeger and enjoy our popular brand of fishing, boating, hiking, camping and riding. Known as a regional attraction for boating, fishing, swimming, water sports, and camping, ‘The Lou’ consists of a pleasant combination of developed and undeveloped shorelines, and offers many recreational opportunities to visitors. The lake features a 2 public boat ramps, one with gas dock and supply store, a public swimming beach featuring an air conditioned snack bar, shower house, and restrooms, and 45 miles of quiet shoreline to enjoy during daytime hours.

Lake Lou Yaeger is conveniently located 45 miles South of Springfield, IL and 56 miles North of St. Louis, MO. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for driving directions. For an aerial view of Lake Lou Yaeger Click Here.


With no horsepower limit or speed limit restrictions, the lake is a favorite for area boaters, skiers, and fishermen. No jet skis or wet bikes allowed on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.  Annual boat permits vary in cost depending on the boat owner’s residency and the horsepower of the boat. Daily permits for all boats, except personal water crafts, are $10. For a complete list all boat permit costs please click the 2017 Price List. Boat rental is available through Grand Rental.


Fishing for largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish is popular year-round. Popular fishing holes abound along the 7.5 mile length of the lake! Here is the LAKE LOU YAEGER PRICE LIST for more information on usage fees and permits. Fishing licenses can be purchased locally at Wal-Mart, Rural King, UJ’s, and Denny’s Bait & Package Liquor.

Fishing Regulations:
Large or Smallmouth Bass: 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit; 15 inch minimum length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish: 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only

Milnot Beach

You need not have a boat to enjoy Lake Lou Yaeger. Milnot Beach features a large sand area for relaxing, a swimming area, a high and low diving platform, air conditioned snack bar, shower house and restrooms. With ample free parking, Milnot Beach is a popular family destination in the summertime! LAKE LOU YAEGER PRICE LIST

beachOpen Memorial Day through Labor Day (weather permitting)
Monday-Friday: Noon – 5 PM
Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: 11 AM – 6 PM
After August 20, 2017: Milnot Beach will be open only on
August 26 & 27 from 11 AM to 6 PM and
September 2-4 from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Entry Fees:
Child (K-12) Daily $3.00, Adult Daily $4.00
Children 4 and under free
Child Season pass $25, Adult Season pass $40
Family Season pass $60
Wibit: Free with paid admission
Corcls: $5/hour
Kayak (single): $10/hour
Double Kayaks: $15/hour
Stand Up Paddle Boards: $10/hour
Beach phone: 217-324-4023

Camping Choices

campingThere are many additional recreational opportunities at Lake Lou Yeager where visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding and picnicking.

The Bicentennial Campground area offers 44 electrical hookup sites and there are numerous primitive camping sites. In addition, a series of newly constructed Camping Cabins are available for rent.  Click here for cabin information. LAKE LOU YAEGER PRICE LIST 2017 Camping Events

In 2015, a full service Equestrian campground was opened at The Blake Lowry Horse Camp specifically designed for the needs of horse owners. This handicapped accessible site is equipped with water, electric, and a shared shower house. Click here for the equestrian camping layout and pad sizes. Primitive camping is also available at the Blake Lowry Horse Camp. To get an idea of what the Horse trails are like check out the Equestrian Trail Overview or Equestrian trail map with property lines. Get first hand experience of what it is like to ride the trails by watching this video. Guided trail rides are available with Massa Stables (riders must provide their own horse).

For a full list of camping  specs and lake fees:  LAKE LOU YAEGER PRICE LIST and 2017 Camping Events.

Nature and the Outdoors

Adjacent to the lake are two separate areas to enjoy nature and participate in outdoor recreation. First is the 266-acre Shoal Creek Conservation Area. This nature lover’s paradise contains woodlands, prairie, ravines, ridges and cliffs, and is home to more than 700 species of plants and 70 different kinds of butterflies. Visitors can take a self-guided nature trail, consisting of two loops, and enjoy expansive views of the lake, open woodlands and their wildlife and wildflowers.

On Lake Lou Yaeger’s grounds you will have to opportunity view an abundance of wildlife. If you come across an injured or orphaned animal please contact the TreeHouse Wildlife Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wildlife while promoting environmental awareness through education. This organization serves the Litchfield area. Please note: Below are instructions to follow in case you find an injured animal, taken directly from the TreeHouse Wildlife website:

  • -First, assess the situation: Just because an animal is alone does not mean that it needs help. Young wildlife are often left on their own for several hours a day while their mothers forage for food. In other instances it may be obvious that a young animal has been injured, or that a young animal has been orphaned where a dead mother is found nearby.
  • -Second, do not attempt to feed or water the animal.
  • -The best thing to do is to call TreeHouse at 618-466-2990 and discuss the situation with staff who are trained how to respond to various situations. If TreeHouse feels that it is necessary to intervene, you will be instructed as to what to do with the animal, how to handle it if it needs to be removed from a potentially dangerous situation, and how to arrange for the animal’s transport to the center for treatment.
  • -If no answer and your voice mail has not been answered in a timely manner, please contact the 24 hour Bi-State Wildlife Hotline at 1-800-482-7950.
  • -The TreeHouse DOES NOT take raccoons, rabbits, skunks, bats, adult deer, or orphaned songbirds.For these animals contact the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline at 1-800-482-7950.


-From I-55, take Exit 52 toward Litchfield (on the East side of I-55, visible from the interstate)
-Continue on Illinois Route 16/Union Avenue for approximately 2 Miles
-Turn Left on Yaeger Lake Trail (on the Left, across from Elmwood Cemetery) and continue for 0.4 Miles
-Take the first Left onto Roberson Road (Slow Children at Play Sign will be visible) and continue 0.8 Miles (If you miss Roberson Road, proceed to Park Road and Turn Left on Park Road)
-Turn Right on Beach House Trail and continue 1 Mile
-For Campground—turn right on Park Road

Click here for a driving map from I-55.

For more information on Lake Lou Yaeger click here.