Shabbona Lake offers many opportunities for picnicking throughout the park. Three picnic shelters are available: the Shabbona Grove and Three Fires shelters can be reserved in advance through ExploreMoreIL. The Somonauk Point shelter is available only on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The campground has available 150 Class A Premium campsites, with 90 campsites available for advanced reservation through ExploreMoreIL. Additionally, 60 campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All sites have electricity, picnic tables, fire rings and vehicle access. A sanitary dump station is available to all campers. One family is allowed per campsite, or four unrelated adults with up to two tents. Campers must be ready to camp when upon arrival. The campground may be closed during the spring thaw due to road conditions. Alcohol is prohibited. To check on the status of the campground or for further information, call 815-824-2106 during the week or the campground check station at 815-824-2565 on weekends.
Two rent-a-camp cabins are available at the park. The rustic cabins have two rooms and will accommodate a maximum of six people. They are located on the shore of Shabbona Lake and are open May 1 - October 31.
Shabbona Lake's Youth Group camping area will accommodate two groups of up to 50 campers each. Privies are available at the site, but there is no electricity or water.
Reservations for the cabins, campsites, shelters and youth group can be made through ExploreMoreIL.
The following facilities are available: In the main concession building there is a 60 seat restaurant with an additional 40 seat outdoor patio overlooking Shabbona Lake Also, in the main concession building there is a bait, tackle and boat rental facility. In the campground there is a Campground Store that offers wood, groceries, snacks, ice cream, camping supplies, fishing tackle and boat rentals. Hours of operation change depending on the season. For more information call the concession at 815-824-2581 or visit the concession website www.shabbonalake.com.
Just over 8 miles of scenic hiking and cross-country skiing trails weave through the wooded areas of the park. A trail brochure is available at the office.
Fishing and Boating
Boat and shore fishing are both popular and productive at Shabbona Lake. Shabbona Lake was declared the "Muskie Capitol of Illinois" and one of "Illinois' best Fishing Lakes" by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011. Shabbona Lake has produced 6 State record fish including 4 Muskies and 2 Hybrid Crappies.
The lake is stocked with large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, rock bass, black and white crappie, black and brown bullhead, channel catfish, walleye, muskie and perch. Contact the park office for fish catch and size limits.
Lake access is available from a double-lane launching ramp. Boat motors are limited to a 10 HP maximum. However, an 18-acre upper fishing area is a no-wake zone where only electric trolling motors or rowing is permitted. For further details, including information on special sailing regulations, contact the park office.
Swimming and/or wading is prohibited at Shabbona Lake. This regulation is strictly enforced.
Archery deer hunting, waterfowl and dove hunting are available on 744 acres at Shabbona. The Steward Habitat Area, a satellite of Shabbona Lake, is a permit-only pheasant hunting area. Kishwaukee River State Wildlife Area (KRSWA), another satellite outside of the town of Kirkland, is available for archery deer hunting. Additionally, KRSWA is a special permit area for firearm deer and firearm spring turkey hunting. Check the online Hunter Fact Sheets for more information.
In addition to the cross-country skiing available on the nature trails, the lake is ringed by a 7-mile snowmobiling trail, which opens every year the day after archery deer season closes, weather permitting. The trail is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m when there is a minimum of 4 inches of snow on the ground. Snowmobiles must register at the kiosk at the park office. Ice fishing and ice skating are allowed when the ice is thick enough. The rolling terrain is ideal for sledding and tobogganing.
Shabbona Lake State Park is easily accessible from the Chicago area via I-88. Take I-88 west to the Sugar Grove exit, which is approximately 2 ½ miles west of the Aurora toll booth. Take US 30 west from Sugar Grove approximately 22 miles to Shabbona. Visitors from the Northeast or Southeast, take IL Rt 47 to US 30 west to Shabbona.
Visitors from the Southwest or Northwest, take I-39 to US 30 (exit 87). Directional signs are on the exit ramps. Take US 30 east 7 miles to Shabbona. From the DeKalb area, take IL Rt 23 south to US 30, then take US 30 west to Shabbona. The park entrance is on Preserve Road, approximately ½ mile south of Shabbona. Signs in Shabbona will direct you to the park.
The park is open as follows:
- April 1 - October 31: 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
- November 1 - January 31: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- February 1 - February 28/29: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
- March 1 - March 31: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
- While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
- At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
- We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.