Randolph County State Recreation Area is a mecca for outdoor recreational activities. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, boating, hunting and camping are just a few of the choices on the 1,101 acres at the site. Located five miles northeast of Chester, Randolph County SRA lies in the rolling hill country of southern Illinois. Offering a cool retreat from hot summer days, well shaded picnic areas, hiking trails and scenic forest stands await park visitors.
Randolph County Lake is a clear-water lake stocked with channel catfish, redear and bluegill sunfish, walleye, saugeye, and rainbow trout. Other game fish such as largemouth bass, green sunfish, bullhead and crappie also can be found, so no angler should be disappointed. Boat motors are limited to 10 HP.
Randolph County SRA is renowned for its wooded areas and abundance of songbirds and wildlife. Hikers on the trail may see woodpeckers, hawks, turkeys, deer, squirrels and waterfowl as they wind through woods and open fields, and around the lakeshore. An additional 11.6 miles of horse trails provide riders with the same panorama of sights and sounds.
Fifty-one Class BE campsites, 95 Class C campsites, an equestrian site with eight stalls for horses, and four Class D (primitive) campsites are available throughout the area. A group camp area has its own shelter, stone fireplace, electricity and tables.
A wonderful escape from a hot summer day awaits visitors in any of the six picnic areas. Nestled among hickory, oak, sweetgum and tulip trees, the picnic areas have shelters, tables, fire grills, and water fountains
Squirrel hunters will find plenty of grey and fox squirrels which can be hunted with shotgun or bow. Dove, deer, rabbit, quail and woodcock are popular game species in season. Hunters must check in at the park office for a hunter fact sheet, map and regulations.
On cold, wintry days, the Randolph County SRA horse trails provide a perfect path for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. For nature observers, winter is a great time to see a variety of wildlife along the hiking trails and scenic areas.
For those who want additional nature opportunities, several satellite areas are close by. Turkey Bluffs State Fish and Wildlife Area is located south of Chester and features picnic areas with scenic overlooks. Hunting for all species (statewide regulations apply) is permissible at Turkey Bluffs. Fults Hill Prairie is located a few miles north of Prairie du Rocher and offers a spectacular view from the bluff overlooking the Mississippi floodplain. Prairie flowers, soaring eagles and hawks provide a breathtaking experience. Piney Creek Nature Preserve is one of two locations in the state that possesses the state-endangered shortleaf pine trees. A hiking trail crosses through a ravine with steep canyon walls and past a running stream with waterfalls. This scenic adventure will challenge the most avid hiker. Kidd Lake State Natural Area also is nearby and provides quiet retreats from the daily routine.