Activities at Red Hills


For family outings, what better way to spend a day than to have a picnic at Red Hills’ pleasant, shaded picnic areas throughout the park, with tables and grills. There are three picnic shelters for large gatherings, two reservable and one first-come, first-served, and six playgrounds. All areas are convenient to parking lots. Facilities are handicapped accessible. Reservations are accepted through the ExploreMoreIL™ website.


For longer stays, there are more than 100 Class A campsites with vehicular access that provide electricity, a sanitary dump station, water and access to a modern handicapped-accessible building with showers and flush toilets. Some sites are pull-through with 50 amp service. Camping reservations can be made online at ExploreMoreIL™.

Handicapped sites also are available. In addition, there is a primitive tent camping area, rent-a-camp cabin, an equestrian campground, and a youth group tent camping area. Camping permits must be obtained from the park staff.


Eight miles of refreshing, scenic trails of moderate difficulty wind through the park, where the vibrant colors of redheaded woodpeckers, blue jays and goldfinches can be seen.


For the intermediate hiker, Indian Treaty, Robin, Valley Springs and Tulip trail loops overlap each other on the hilly north side of U.S. Rt. 50 for about 3 miles. There also is a 5-mile trail for horseback riding and bicycling when soil conditions permit.

Horseback Riding

Trails can be used by both equestrians and bicyclists. Check with park staff for open dates. A Class C equestrian campground is available. A local Saddle Club hosts horse shows once a month from April - October at the Red Hills Arena.

Fishing and Boating

A paved road circles the lake, and bank fishing is popular for largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill. A boat launch is available; however, gas motors are not allowed.

Winter sports

In the winter months, when the ice is thick enough, you can go ice fishing and enjoy ice skating on the lake. Sledding opportunities also exist.


Squirrel, dove, woodcock, quail and rabbit are plentiful in season. Archery deer hunting also is permitted. All hunters must check in and out at the check station. Consult the park staff for specific information about shooting times and opening dates.

For more information see the online Hunter Fact Sheet.

Trace Inn

The Trace Inn Restaurant is open year-round an offers a spectacular four-season overlook of Red Hills Lake and the surrounding hardwood forest. Fine dining is enhanced by the rustic atmosphere of a rural decor, antiques and creative seasonal decorations. ​