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Clinton Lake in Illinois

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Spent three hours yakking around on this large lake in Central IL. Clear skies, temp in the mid 70's.

After putting in, I headed under a bridge to the northwest the area beyond which is completely "no wake", with the northernmost portion limited to electric motors. Thus, very few power boats - none while I was there.

Nice wooded shoreline along both sides. Plenty of birds, especially my favorite local - the Gray Heron. Lots of turtles, or at least their heads (I assume they had turtles attached to them.) with several sunning themselves on logs. Also, float fishing appears to be popular in this area, with several lines visible. Water calm.

After touring that end, I headed back through the bridge and up the southern edge to the bridge at Route 48, then across and back down the northern shore to the access. Saw a group of several heron around what looked to be a nesting area. One was very angry at me for intruding, squawking and giving me the stink eye. The wind had picked up when I entered this area, which is more open and wider. The wind combines with the shallow water to make it slightly more challenging for a beginner like me.

Overall, a nice quiet paddle for a Saturday morning.


Put in at the Parnell Access about 8A. This is a good spot to put in due generally less traffic than the more popular access points. Plenty of parking, bathrooms (no water), and boat ramp with docking pier. No concessions other than bathrooms and picnic tables.




North from the intersection of Rts 10 & 48, or south from 10 & 54, watch for the sign for Parnell Access (Note: Weldon Access is at this same intersection.) Turn east for about .8 mi. Turn left/north on Liberty Road. (There is no sign for the access at this turn, but the intersection is indicated by a zig-zag sign.) Access is just across the bridge, on your left.

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location