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Clinton Lake in Illinois

Trip Overview

Father and I paddled Clinton Lake Illinois for three hours this morning, the fog rising off the warm water (nuclear power plant discharge). Many fisherman in bass boats, we were the only paddlers. Putting in at the Marina, easy access, and paddle out to the main water and turn left. Coves with interesting wildlife; saw four deer, turkey vultures, and a diving bird.

Continue gentle coastline paddle toward dam, and stopped for drinks, snack at the closed lean-to at the park above the lake, lovely lake views. The paddle continues to the Clinton Lake dam, and nesting seagulls (about 100) in the shallows by the dam. Continue to the outlet of the dam, and have nice view of the creek below.

Turn around and paddle back to the marina; the water became slightly wavy, and few motor boats so we cut directly across the lake (recommended only in low boat traffic times) back to the Marina. Marina with many interesting boats and houseboats. Friendly fisherman always with a wave and a smile. Clinton Lake, as described in destination report, is an awesome 5k acre compound with several accesses, each with its own individual identity and flavor.

Today's paddle was the main body of the lake, the widest part, which gives the big lake feel. Sea kayaks or larger rec kayaks are best suited for this lake. Note that warm waters from the nuclear discharge are safe, and allow thaw (no ice) until the deepest part of winter making for great late season paddles. Enjoy.

Accommodations:

Clinton Marina has a snack bar (seasonal), gas, and a concrete boat ramp.

Fees:

None.

Directions:

I-72 west, take White Heath exit, to route 10. Route 10 past Dewitt, to the Clinton Marina sign; follow signs to marina.

Resources:

Delorme Illinois.
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip