Activities at Ramsey Lake


For large groups, Shady Grove and Lakeview picnic areas offer ideal surroundings. Both have shelters, water, tables, stoves and privies. Shady Grove also has playground equipment. For people who prefer smaller, more secluded picnics, Fox Knoll, Coon Ridge and Blackberry Fork picnic areas are popular choices. These sites have tables and stoves and are located in shady areas on knolls overlooking the lake. Shelter reservations are available at ExploreMoreIL™.


Campers have many sites from which to choose to pitch a tent or park a trailer. The area includes 90 campsites available, with a sanitary disposal station, electricity, and a flush toilet and shower building. Another 24 sites are available with electricity for organized groups. Hickory Grove is the choice for those needing only picnic tables, fire pads and privies. Hickory Grove also has 45 sites available in a densely wooded area with unequalled views of shady trees and natural beauty. Water hydrants are conveniently placed throughout the campgrounds. A special site is available for organized youth groups. Reservations are available for portions of the campgrounds. Camping reservations are available online at ExploreMoreIL™.


A 1-mile trail winds through the park. Visitors also often use the unmarked fire lanes which make good paths for easy walking. A 13-mile horse trail is located in the north end of the area along with a small campground for horse enthusiasts. This area is 1 mile north of the park entrance.


Fishing is a favorite pastime for Ramsey Lake visitors. To maintain a desirable fish population, the lake is managed by draw-downs and stocking. Some of the species include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and black crappie. Fishing supplies are available at the concession stand.


A launching ramp and boat dock are conveniently located on Ramsey Lake; rental boats also are available. Gas motors are not allowed, but electric trolling motors are permitted. Fishing is allowed on several ponds located at the site, as well as on Ramsey Lake.


Hunters will find abundant game at Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area. Dove, squirrel, quail and pheasant can be hunted with shotgun. Deer can be hunted only with bow. A controlled pheasant and quail program is run during the hunting season. Other hunting dates and times may differ from state regulations. For more information see the Hunter Fact Sheet for Ramsey Lake SRA.

Winter Sports

Winter activities are popular at Ramsey Lake. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sledding and ice skating are among recreational activities for the cold-weather sports enthusiast. The 13-mile designated snowmobile trail provides a winter wonderland view of the park, when snow cover and weather permits.


A concession stand near the boat dock, offers visitors opportunities to purchase food and a variety of camping, picnicking and fishing supplies.