Lake of Egypt, Illinois

Drive six miles south of Marion, Illinois, and you’ll find Lake of Egypt. Built as a cooling reservoir for power plants, this artificial, privately-owned lake has plenty of space, with over 90 miles of shoreline and 2,300 acres of surface area. Even though it’s a huge lake, it’s relatively shallow, averaging just 18 feet deep.

That means that you’ll need to be careful when boating here, since submerged trees and rocks are a real threat. Still, there are few accidents, and boaters are sure to have a great time. There are no limits on motor size for boats on Lake of Egypt.

Water skis and jet skis are both allowed, and they’re popular activities. With so much surface area, it’s really an ideal lake for water skiing. There’s little risk that the lake will feel crowded, even on Labor Day weekend. That’s more than enough room for everyone to spread out and enjoy their own portion.

Lake of Egypt is also a popular fishing destination, and the shallow water makes it so that there’s no shortage of great fishing spots. Bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish are the most popular fish in the lake, but you’ll also find large numbers of striped bass and crappie. With such a wide variety of fish, the lake provides excellent entertainment for people of all ages.

Crappie and bluegill fishing is perfect for small children, while more advanced anglers obsess over the bass and catfish. Fishing is good all year round and you can fish just as well from the shore as you can from a boat.

Buck Ridge Campground in the Shawnee National Forest is the only camping area available to the public at Lake of Egypt. As part of a national forest, this camping area is beautiful and well-maintained with easy access. Plus, you’ll have easy access to water sports and hiking trails.

Still, it is the only camping area on the lake, which makes Lake of Egypt less of a camping destination than other lakes. It’s better suited to spending a day out on the water before heading home, and there aren’t really any shoreside amenities to speak of.

There are, however, three marinas at Lake of Egypt, one of which includes luxury cabins which can be rented. It may not be a huge camping destination, but it’s definitely a comfortable spot to spend a weekend. The resort includes boat access, so it’s a great place to stay if you want to spend the day out on the water without having to worry about driving back exhausted from all that water skiing.

Lake of Egypt was created to suit practical purposes- cooling down a power plant. It still does that, but these days it’s so much more. It’s one of southern Illinois’ best spots for water skiing, jet skiing, and fishing, and the lakeside resort makes it an ideal vacation spot.

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