Cedar Lake

Shawnee National Forest, 340-350 Hagler Lane Makanda, IL

Phone: 618-549-8441 Visit our Website


Cedar Lake is a 1,750-acre reservoir in Southern Illinois that was created by the damming of Cedar Creek, a tributary of the Big Muddy River in 1974. The lake is located in Jackson County, southwest of Carbondale, Illinois. The lake is accessible from U.S. Highway 51. The lake was constructed for the purpose of supplying tap water to the residents of Carbondale.

In addition, the lake serves fishing, swimming and active recreation purposes. Cedar Lake is managed for bass,(largemouth and striped), and crappie fishing. Fishermen can also fish for Channel catfish and bluegill. The lake was described in 2007 as receiving "moderate to heavy" fishing pressure from the recreationally active people of southern Illinois and southeast Missouri. The city of Carbondale operates a parking lot, swimming beach, and boat dock at Cedar Lake. An admission fee is charged for the beach, but access to other sites is free of charge. The boat power limit is 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or less. There is also an extensive trail system running around the lake that is able to be hiked year-round. The Cedar Lake Trail System totals 14 miles in length, and consists of four separate trails.

The boat dock at Cedar Lake allows access to the lake for boats with a ten (10) horsepower motor or less.