Twin Lakes (220 acres), also sometimes called Paris East and West Lakes, are a wonderful place for a morning or evening paddle. The lakes are divided by Route 150/1 travelling north and south (follow north to Danville IL, and south to Marshall, IL and beyond), and under this bridge is a small dam. It is not dangerous and is low flow, but does impede, unfortunately, paddling from one lake to the other.
The put-in for the smaller Paris West Lake is right at the Route 150/1 bridge, and allows a dock or small ramp entry into brownish but clean looking water. Parking is right at the ramp. West Lake is 75 acres, has a shoreline of 4.5 miles, and is lined with a small putt-putt golf course and batting cages, and continues north under a railroad arcade bridge dating to 1906. Beyond the bridge by about 1/4 mile is the Sugar Creek entering the man-made lake, but the creek is logjammed. West Lake has a shallow average depth of about 5 feet, and was dredged recently.
Paris East Lake requires a put-in at the municipal boat launch found by travelling just east of the Route 150/1 bridge, and is readily noticed by the public beach and picnic area (see photo). This lake is deeper, larger at 163 acres, and has 7.8 miles of shorelength. Skiiing and swimming are permitted in East Lake, and homes dot the shoreline and, although modest, are interesting to look at. The main body of East Lake is 25 feet deep, and ends at the dam overlooking Sugar Creek. Two other moderate sized "arms" are also good for paddling.
Stumps and obstructions in both of the Twin Lakes is minimal, and the town of Paris, IL (pop. 8000) is a reasonable place for a day trip, including a municipal golf course and places to eat.
Public boat ramps, public beach.
Ther are signs at the boat ramp indicating a "day use fee", but no collection station or box was noted during this trip.
From Interstate 57, take the Tuscola exit, travel west on Route 36 to Route 150/1, and proceed south to Paris, Illinois. Twin Lakes are 75 miles from Champaign, IL.
Delorme Illinois Gazetteer
Sportsmans Connection Southern Illinois Fishing Map Guide