Devil's Kitchen

I know that some of you have paddled Devil’s Kitchen Lake in Southern Illinois. Can you tell me if there are any special permits required to paddle on the lake? What about any of the other lakes in the Shawnee National Forest?



Devils Kitchen
This is a “Jewel” of a Lake. It is just less than 1000 acres yet has 27 miles of shoreline. It has the appearance of a deep northwoods lake with granite outcroppings and steep wooded shorelines. It also has the dual distinction of being the deepest lake in Illinois (except for lake Michigan) at 96 ft. and it is also rated by the DOC and IL EPA as the cleanest lake in the state with vertical visibility approaching 25 ft at times.

Permits: This lake is located in Crab Orchard Nation Wildlife Refuge and does require a permit that can be obtained at the Devils Kitchen Marina located at the North end of the Lake.

Myself and coyotequip (Jarvis) are paddling Devils Kitchen this Sunday morning. I invite everyone who has the opportunity to paddle and explore this lake to do so. You will not be dissapointed. More info? feel free to contact me.

Have fun,


Been Several Years
But Jay is “Right on” with his imfo. The place really does remind me of a lake in N. WI or MN. I recall catching a few trout there also. Wish I lived closer to it! WW

So. Illinois Lakes
jboyd and I had a fine paddle sunday morning on Devil’s Kitchen. The unusually cool temps (for june in So. Illinois) lent credence to his comparison of D.K. to a “northwooods lake”.

There are 3 lakes in the area that have a 10 hp motor limit on them. Devil’s Kitchen, Little Grassy, and Cedar Lake. All are nice enough paddles.

Devil’s Kitchen has a proponderance of stumps at the waterline, but little resulting boat traffic, and shore-camping is not permitted. (altho there is a car-camping campground at the north end of the lake) It is administered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. (as mentioned, a permit is required)

Cedar Lake has wonderful rock outcroppings along it’s shore and a 5 mile length that makes a nice 10 mile paddle. Boat traffic is higher than at D.K. but shore-camping is allowed on the southern reaches of the lake. It is administered by the City of Carbondale (north) and the US Forest Service (south). No permit is required to paddle.

Little Grassy is the one lake I haven’t spent much time on.

Good luck.

Thanks for all the information. I’m looking forward to getting out on DK later this year.