The lake is regularly stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, bullhead, crappie, channel catfish, walleye, yellow perch and northern pike. Whether from the 5 miles of shoreline or off the handicapped-accessible fishing pier, the angling is always good.
Fishing Tournaments - Special rules and regulations apply to these events. Fishing tournaments must be permitted prior to the event by the Division of Fisheries (online fishing tournament permit applications are accessed through the IFishIllinois website at www.ifishillinois.org).
The Division of Land Management issues activity permits for the site. Check with the site office: Moraine View SRA, 27374 Moraine View Park Rd, LeRoy IL 61752.
Drifting and bobbing on the glittering expanse of Dawson Lake is one of the site's most popular activities, whether aboard a sailboat or in a motorcraft of 10 HP or less. Presently, an idle-speed/no-wake speed limit exists for boat motors more than 10 HP. There is a two-lane launching ramp and docking facility and boat rentals are available at the concession stand.
The Black Locust picnic area includes a public, sandy beach where swimming is permitted from Memorial Day to Labor Day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day. No alcohol or pets are allowed on the beach, and swimmers are to remain in the buoyed area. There are no lifeguards.
For invigorating exploration, Moraine View contains a variety of opportunities. The 0.5-mile Tanglewood Self-Guiding Nature Trail winds around the lake finger in a wooded area and will take you within sight of a thriving beaver dam and lodge. Tall Timber Trail, a 1.5-mile backpack and hiking trail over moderate terrain, also provides sites for primitive camping along its course. The Timber Point Handicapped Trail is a 0.5-mile long opportunity for visitors with disabilities to enjoy the pleasures of the woods, as well.
More than 10 miles of bridle paths on Timberline Ridge Trail wind through most of the area. An equestrian campground is available.
When the season brings sufficient snow, 7 miles of trails are open for cross-country skiing, and the field trial trails accommodate the higher horsepower of snowmobiles. Ice fishing and ice skating are available when the ice is thick enough.
Approximately 1,300 acres of Moraine View SRA are open to public hunting in season. Moraine View is one of eight sites in Illinois which has 9 weeks of controlled pheasant hunting. Consult the park office for specific information concerning hunting and opening dates for various species. Review the Hunter Fact Sheets for more information.