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Clinton Lake in Illinois

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

My sister and I went out on Clinton Lake. We used the Northfork Access. The wind was up, but the water was only slightly wavy. We went towards the Lake itself up to the power plant block off, and then paddled up the opposite shore side to the wetlands.

We saw the typical birds; Blue Herons, crows, hawks and Canadian Geese. We also came across large flocks of seagulls and White Pelicans. There were also several small black duck looking birds on the water. We spent around 2 hours on the water.

The boat access there is good, not real busy and easy to load/ unload. Due to low water conditions this spring we were unable to go from the Lake to the Salt Creek feed. When water is higher it is possible, and there is also a canoe/kayak access on the creek.


Northfork has restrooms, fish cleaning station, concrete boat ramp, and ample parking. There is also access to several hiking trails from this location. Canoe access has more primitive ramp into the creek, as it is designed for canoe and kayak only.


No fees or permits


Take Rt. 54 to Birkbeck, turn into the town and follow road straight past. Follow winding road to either the Northfork Access (first you will come across) or continue to the canoe access farther on.


We used the DNR website map for the Clinton Recreation Park, we have found it to be quite accurate, although roads are not well marked. We are from the area so are familiar with rural markings and plant map locations...

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location