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Shabbona Lake State Park

Shabbona Lake State Park

Just off of route U.S. 30 is Shabbona Lake State Park, a 1,550 acre park with a 318.8-acre man-made lake for fishing and small boating. There are several day use areas with pavilions, water faucets, grills, and pit toilets near the hiking trails and the lake. The boat ramp is located near the campground store. If you do not have a boat, there are fishing boats and pontoon boats available for rental at the Shabbona's Lakeside Bait, Tacke & Boat Rental. Pokanoka's Cafe is located in the same concession building as the fishing supply and boat rental store.

Concessions at Shabbona Lake State Park

Concessions at Shabonna Lake State Park

Shabbona Lake SP wildlife

Water wildlife at Shabonna Lake

Hiking

Great oak tree on trail at Shabbona Lake State Park

The eight plus miles of fairly well marked hiking and cross-country skiing trails meander through the wooded areas of the park. A trail brochure can be obtained from a small pamphlet rack on the outside of the shower building on the parking lot side. It is possible to hike around Shabbona Lake by following the Arrowhead Trail, part of the Snowmobile Trail across the Earthen Dam, and the Tomahawk Trail.

There is a trailhead for the Arrowhead Trail, listed as 2.4 miles in length, behind the campground hosts seen as you enter the park. Soon after you begin walking, you are given the choice to continue southward on the Arrowhead Trail, or bear left to continue on the Tomahawk Trail. Most of the Arrowhead Trail offers tree cover, while the trail is open as you approach the parking lot for Lakeside Bait & Tackle and Pokanoka's Restaurant located on Shabbona Lake. You can also start walking the Arrowhead Trail from the trailhead near the Three Fires shelter.

Earthen Dam at Shabbona Lake State ParkThe Tomahawk Trail, listed as 2.5 miles long, follows the northern coast of the lake through open prairie and then forest. This trail is much closer to the lake with a bench at one point to rest and view the lake. As you approach the Earthen Dam, the tree cover turns into open area again. The Snowmobile Trail is 7 miles long and is almost exclusively open prairie with some tree cover as it circles around Shabbona Lake. There is a shorter trail called Papara Trail, 1.2 miles in length, that branches off of the Tomahawk Trail. This trail may also be a combination of woods and open prairie.

Camping

This campground offers Class A Premium campsites: 90 sites available for advanced reservation and 60 sites available on a first-come, first-serve basis in the Teal Bay area. All sites have electricity, picnic tables, fire rings, and vehicle access. A sanitary dump station is located near the entrance to the park and the camp registration office. This office has been closed for the past couple years with registration now handled by the camp hosts whose sites are located just as you enter the campground area. There are several pit toilets, water faucets, and trash receptacles situated throughout the park. One shower building with flush toilets serves the campground.

Shabbona Lake SP campsiteThe campsite area is somewhat hilly so that some sites slope upwards or downwards away from the road. Many of the sites are situated in more wooded settings. Check the image for the site you choose before reserving the site. In the Canvasback Cove area, the campsites along the road between the shower building and the camp store are tucked into fairly heavily wooded areas. Some sites closest to the lake and near the camp store are along a tight curve in the road and may be difficult to back your trailer or RV into the driveway.

On the Merganser Circle sites 68 through 76 occupy a lower point in the park with driveways sloping down, away from the road, and may be muddy after rain storms. Sites 96, 97, and 98 have fire rings on the right-hand side of the site as you look onto the site from the road which is different from most campsites.

 

Resources:

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