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Children 12 and up
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Visiting Lake Jacksonville, Illinois

You don't have to travel far to enjoy some time on the water. Lake Jacksonville provides some great opportunities for a host of water activities for Villa DeWolf guests. This 500-acre lake is filled with fish and provides great opportunities for boating or swimming. If you don't want to head out onto the lake, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy on the shore. Come explore one of the best lakes in central Illinois by visiting Lake Jacksonville.

Where is Lake Jacksonville?

Lake Jacksonville sits about three miles south of Jacksonville. You can reach it by taking State Route 267 and turning at Lake Jacksonville Road. The reservoir is in a winding shape so these directions will take guests to the western shores. There are access points on all sides of the lake.

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Lake Jacksonville General Information

You can call ahead with any questions or concerns by dialing 217-479-4646. Lake Jacksonville has a concession stand that features a host of options. The hours for the stand are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Lake Jacksonville Fishing

Lake Jacksonville earned the honor of one of the best Illinois fishing lakes in 2007, making it a popular spot for anglers. Fishing seasons typically begin in March pending ice on the lake melting. Some of the common catches include bass, bluegill, red ear sunfish and channel catfish. There are options for both fishing via a boat or from the shore. Lake Jacksonville fishing is a great way to relax and enjoy the natural beauty in the area. It is important to have an Illinois Fishing License before you drop in a line at the lake. Please also follow all fishing rules and regulations at Lake Jacksonville when you visit.

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Boating and other Water Activities at Lake Jacksonville

Another popular activity at Lake Jacksonville is boating. The lake allows for motorized boats but does not allow houseboats or jet skis in the waters. All visitors who take a boat out on the water must have a valid boat permit. Guests can buy a boat permit at the concession stand where you will need to provide proof of $25,000 liability insurance and proof of Illinois Department of Natural Resources number. There are options for non-motorized boats such as kayaks and canoes. The Lake Jacksonville Boat Dock is a great place to cast off and begin your aquatic journey on the lake.

Water skiing is a popular activity on the lake and boaters are allowed to tow skiers while on the water. There is, however, a restriction on towing two skiers at a time. Guests are also not allowed to skim or dive from boats on the lake. Swimming is allowed but only during daytime hours and in designated spots. Swimming at Lake Jacksonville is at the swimmer's own risk. 

Lake Jacksonville Trails

Lake Jacksonville features two trails on the southern shore of the main channel. These paths include the Crimson and Rocket trails. These trails total 1.5 miles in length and are open to all non-motorized bikes and hikers. Both trails are easy and provide great views of the lake. Visitors can traverse both trails or just one of them. Thanks to the layout, you can reach each trail via the parking area. The Crimson Trail is the closer option to the parking area while the Rocket Trail is a bit farther. Both trails run through forested areas and spend some time on the shorelines. The Crimson Trail provides more opportunities on the shorelines of Lake Jacksonville while the Rocket Trail splits time between the forest and the shore. 

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