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Lake Shelbyville

Party Cove at Lake Shelbyville One of our favorite boating locations is Lake Shelbyville, located in central Illinois. As Illinois’ third largest lake, Lake Shelbyville has over 172 miles of shoreline with over 11,000 acres of water. It extends nearly 17 miles from the dam at Shelbyville to its limits above Sullivan and Bethany. The large size of this lake allows boating enthusiasts the ability to indulge in their favorite occupation, fishing, water sports, sightseeing, or just cruising, with little interference. In addition to miles of open boating, there are numerous coves to explore. There are smaller coves for quiet relaxation and swimming or huge coves that offer the opportunity to mingle with other boaters. “Party Cove”, located just east of Marker 5, is an example of a very large cove than can host 100+ boats on the weekends. If you’re boating with small children, keep in mind that there is often some scantly clad partiers at Party Cove.

Lake Shelbyville is a man-made lake built as part of a general comprehensive plan for the development of the Kaskaskia Basin for flood control, recreation, water supply, and fish and wildlife conservation. At normal level, Lake Shelbyville averages 16 feet in depth, with a maximum depth of 67 feet. However, in the spring, the lake level can rise dramatically and create some accessibility problems with the marinas and beaches.

Because Lake Shelbyville is man-made, the lake bottom consists entirely of mud -- the kind of mud that pulls your shoes right off your feet. One important step in preparing for boating on Lake Shelbyville is to remove your carpeting if possible. This mud gets everywhere. We bring a bucket for rinsing mud off the deck on a regular basis when we are boating on this lake. It isn't that the dirt is in the water; the water is very clean. It's just that everyone boarding the boat from a beach or other shoreline will bring a pound or two each time. Just be prepared.

Our only complaint about Lake Shelbyville is that there are few destinations on the lake. Development of the shoreline has been intentionally kept to a minimum. On a fast boat, it could take almost 45 minutes to go from Lithia Springs Marina to the Sullivan Marina. Therefore, it is a good idea to pack food and drinks for a day on the boat. However, there are four waterfront locations available.


Quick Launch to Lake Shelbyville Marina Information
Eagle Creek Resort
Findlay Marina
Lithia Springs
Sullivan Marina

Camping on Lake Shelbyville

Map of Lake Shelbyville

We have stayed at both Lithia Springs Campground and Eagle Creek Resort and can report that both are fine locations to visit while spending time on Lake Shelbyville.

Lithia Springs Campground is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is well run and very clean. There are numerous toilets and free showers throughout the grounds. Most sites have electricity, but no water. Water is available at pressurized pumps located throughout the campgrounds. Here is a little hint about the check-in procedure. The campground operators prefer that you pull your vehicle (and boat trailer) all the way over to the right of the entrance and walk over to the check-in station. Parking directly in front of the check-in hut will create a roadblock for any campers that have already checked in.There is a small camping/fishing store just outside the entrance to this campground, which is handy if you need some milk or, more importantly, ice. This campground is conveniently located next to the Lithia Springs Marina and launch ramp.

Lake Shelbville near Eagle Creek Eagle Creek Resort is easy to find from the water – and not so easy by car. This is a very nice resort environment, offering several restaurants, a golf course, outdoor & indoor swimming pools, and a miniature golf course. This resort has been undergoing major renovations over that last few years. The most significant change is the new docking facilities. In the past, the docks were off to the side of the resort. They were somewhat run-down and you had to climb about 100+ steps to get up to the resort. The new docking facilities are directly in front of the resort in a small protected cove. It’s still a climb to get to the resort, but nothing as steep as the old stairs. While the old docks were free, there is now a $20 charge to dock your boat. This fee can be used towards the purchase of food or drinks at any of the restaurants/lounges in the resort. So in the end, it is free to dock your boat while you go to the resort for a bite to eat.

Lake Shelbyville Marinas

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Marina Name Lithia Springs Marina
Address  
   
Phone Number 800-447-4121
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car  
Directions by boat Marker 1
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Daily & Seasonal Slip Rental Transient docking
Gas, Oil, & Propane Small store
Public restrooms Boat store (marine & camping supplies)
Waste pump-out Pontoon Boat Rentals
Houseboat Rentals Houseboat Sales
Boat Launch Fishing Guide Service
Ice  

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Marina Name Eagle Creek Resort
Address  
   
Phone Number 800-876-3245
Web Site www.eaglecreekresort.com
Email Address  
Directions by car  
Directions by boat Marker 4
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Daily & Seasonal Slip Rental Transient docking
Pontoon Boat Rentals Three (3) Restaurants & Bar
Public restrooms Ice
Full Resort Amenities Golf Course
Boat Launch nearby  

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Marina Name Findlay Marina
Address  
   
Phone Number 217-756-8595
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car  
Directions by boat North of Marker 5 just past bridge on west side
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Fishing & Pontoon Boat Rental Boat Sales & Repair
Boat Lifts & Storage Marine Parts & Accessories
Public restrooms (long walk to top of hill) Bait
Slip Rentals Pontoon Boat Rentals
Gas Guide Services
Ice Refreshments

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Marina Name Sullivan Marina & Campground
Address  
   
Phone Number 888-728-7338
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car  
Directions by boat Marker 8
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
150 Covered & Open Boat Slips Dock Store (bait, boating & fishing supplies)
Dockside Restaurant & Bar (Skeeters) Gas
Boat Launch Canoe & Motorboat Rentals
Public Restrooms Fishing Guide Services
ice