On the water and on the shore

On the water and on the shore

On the water and on the shore

Lake Lou Yaeger

Get outside at Litchfield’s Lake Lou Yaeger. This 1,357-acre, 5.5-mile-long lake is the centerpiece of Litchfield’s bustling outdoor culture. In addition to boating and fishing, the surrounding 4,641 acres offer trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use, primitive and RV camping, a sandy swim beach and a conservation area. You will find plenty to see, do and explore at Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield, Illinois.


People boating on Lake Lou YaegerWith no horsepower limitations, Lake Lou Yaeger is an ideal destination for boating. From kayaking and paddleboarding, to water skiing or pleasure cruising, you can do it all at Lake Lou Yaeger. Annual and daily boat passes, along with other items for a successful day at the Lake, are available at Marina 1. Kayaks and paddleboards rentals are available  during normal operating hours, at Milnot Beach. Read more about boating! >


Man and woman fishing at Lake Lou YaegerBring your fishing pole, and try your luck at catching crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill. The lake is open for fishing all year long, and boats are always welcome. Be sure to pick up your fishing license at the following Litchfield locations: Wal-Mart, Rural King, UJ’s or Denny’s Package Liquor & Bait Shop. Boat passes, bait, beverages, snacks and fishing limits can be found at Marina 1. Read more about fishing! >

Milnot Beach

Cool off on a hot day at Milnot Beach. Play a little sand volleyball, go for a swim, float on the water, or just lay out a towel, relax and catch some rays on the shore. Milnot Beach is open to the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Monday through Friday, from 12-5 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays it is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The beach is open only on weekends during the school year. All hours of operation are dependent on the weather. Kayaks, Corcls, stand-up paddleboards, and a snack bar are all available. The beach house also offers a meeting or party room with an abundance of amenities. Read more about Milnot beach! >


If you feel like “roughing it,” pack up your tent, your camper, or your two-door sedan and book a campsite at Lake Lou Yaeger. Campgrounds offer primitive/tent, Bi-Centennial/RV, and equestrian campsites to suit visitors. Don’t feel like getting quite that rough? Book one of our camping cabins. These one-room domiciles sleep up to four, offering electric, water and a personal fire pit. Campgrounds are open April 1 – October 31. For reservations, please call 217-324-4771. If no one is available, please leave a message and someone will return your call. Read more about camping! >

Hiking & Biking

Whether you feel like hiking or biking, check out the Route 66 Hike & Bike Trail. As a tribute to the iconic Route 66 alignments that run through Litchfield, round trip on this trail is approximately 6.6 miles. Maps and markings will show you the way, so do not worry about getting lost. Come and have a fun filled day walking or biking the woods of Lake Lou Yaeger. Make sure to bring water, sun screen, and snacks. Read more about the Route 66 Hike & Bike Trail! >

Shoal Creek Conservation Area

Sign at Shoal Creek Conservation AreaShoal Creek Conservation Area consists of 266-acres of high-diversity Southern Illinois till-plain Oak and Hickory woodland. This Conservation Area is one of the best remaining examples of these native environments in Illinois and is a must see for environmental enthusiasts. Based on past studies, Lake Lou Yaeger is home to 700 plant species, 70 butterfly species, and more than 70 separate bird species, including the majestic bald eagle. The area is open 365 days a year, and hikes range from easy to moderate in difficulty. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars. Read more about the Shoal Creek Conservation Area! >

Equestrian Adventures

Have a four-hooved friend you’d like to bring along for your Lake Lou Yaeger adventures? The more, the merrier. The Lake is home to a mix of equestrian trails and new equestrian campgrounds to help you get a trot in, in Litchfield. Read more about equestrian resources! >

Picnic Areas & Playgrounds

Hungry? Kick back with a picnic in the park. Grill out and relax from 6AM-10PM while the kids enjoy an afternoon at one of two playgrounds. Picnic areas 3 and 4 are outfitted with grills and electricity. Forgot your lunch? Swing by Milnot Beach for a quick snack, within walking distance of the Lake Lou Yaeger picnic areas. To reserve a picnic area, call 217-324-5441 or 217-324-5832. Read more about picnic areas and playgrounds!>

Lake Residents





Do you love lake life? Have you ever thought about moving to Litchfield? Now may be your chance to make your dreams come true! Read more about becoming a lake resident!>


Need information about accessibility at Lake Lou Yaeger Recreational Area. Read more>