Wondering if anyone here has paddled Horseshoe Lake in the very southern tip of Illinois.It is supposed to be similiar to the swamps/bayous of the south with huge cypress trees growing right up out of the water and abundant with wildlife. However it’s also supposed to be good fishing and I am wondering if it is jamb packed with bass boats and fishermen or would this be a fun/scenic paddle worth the 8 or 9 hour drive. Good places to put in? Any info would be much appreciated.
Read up on Cache River, in the
Places 2 Paddle section. You can also click on this:
Horseshoe Lake is in the same vicinity. Maybe this will do just as well.
Hello- Greetings from Southern Illinois!
Horseshoe Lake is, to my knowledge, is the only large natural lake in So. Ill. An old oxbow of the Mississippi R., it is quite shallow and a popular fishing and hunting area.
I have to admit that I have not paddled it, preferring to leave it to the BassBoatBoys (of course that’s only an opinion on my part - it may be a fine paddle, especially in the winter…)
As mentioned, I’d check out the Cache River area if you want some unique midwest swamp paddling. It too has Cypress, Tupelo, and Buttonbush in large numbers. No gators or bears, but plenty of other wildlife (including, in addition to the usual cast of characters, a few otters, some bobcats, and if you’re extraordinarily lucky … cougars) Boat traffic should be minimal.
Biggest thing to be aware of though, if you’re coming when the weather is warm, are the poison ivy and snakes. You’re sure to see a cottonmouth or three during a paddle on the Cache. At least when you’re paddling you can’t be stepping on them…;^).
If you’re in the area be sure to check out Cedar Lake and Devil’s Kitchen Lake. Both are long, multi-fingered, man-made lakes with 10hp motor limits on them. Bordered primarily by public lands their scenic shorelines are covered by oak/hickory forests dotted with sandstone outcrops. Bass-boat traffic picks up on the weekends with the warmer weather but weekdays should be pretty quiet on the water.
Drop me a line if you have any further questions.