Horseshoe Lake State Park

Trip Advisor

Key Information

Contact Info



3321 IL-111, Granite City, IL 62040, United States

Opening Hours

6 am–10 pm



Introduction of Horseshoe Lake State Park

Horseshoe Lake is located off Highway 111 in Madison County, Illinois, in the state’s southwestern corner. On 2,960 acres, the park offers a wide range of recreational opportunities just minutes from a large surrounding urban area.

Horseshoe Lake is on a low flood plain. This flood plain extends from the Mississippi River to the Kentucky border. Prior to the installation of the current levies, heavy spring floods would cause the river to overflow its banks. It would occasionally change course and cut a new channel through these bottomlands. During this process, an old river section was separated from the flowing channel, resulting in the formation of a natural oxbow lake. This is how Horseshoe Lake came to be.

As soon as a lake is formed, whether man-made or natural, it begins to fill in. Silt is a type of soil particle that is carried by the wind and water runoff from nearby fields and ditches. In general, older lakes fill in and become shallower than new lakes. Horseshoe Lake is an ancient lake, as evidenced by its three-foot depth.

Throughout history, various American Indian tribes have lived on Horseshoe Lake. The earliest evidence of their presence at this location dates back to 8000 B.C., during the Archaic Period. Artifacts dating from 1000 B.C. to 1000 A.D. have also been discovered. Cahokia Mounds, the “Mighty Metropolis,” was built during this time period. The nearby 30,000 to 40,000 mound builders farmed extensively but still relied on Horseshoe Lake’s abundant food supply. Within the park’s boundaries, there is still an earthen platform mound.

Horseshoe Lake State Park Camping

The park has 48 tent or trailer sites. There is a sanitary dump station, pit toilets, and water hydrants nearby. All campers are required to obtain a permit from the site office. The campground is open from May 1st to October 31st, with NO RESERVATIONS ACCEPTED.

Sunrise Horseshoe Lake State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

Horseshoe Lake State Park Activities


Numerous public blinds are located on the lake to accommodate waterfowl hunters. During waterfowl season, only hunting from these public blinds is permitted. On the peninsula, dove hunting is permitted during the month of September. There is controlled pheasant hunting available. For more information on hunting regulations, contact the Park Office.


Five shelters are available for group picnics, while small areas with convenient parking are scattered around the lake for family outings. The park includes three playgrounds. There are also two volleyball courts on the property.


Except during waterfowl season, boat fishing is permitted. All watercraft are limited to 50 horsepower. The public has access to three boat ramps. A handicapped-accessible fishing pier is available.

Horseshoe Lake State Park Location

In Madison County, 2 12 miles east of Granite City, in the East St. Louis Area. Route 111 runs along the eastern boundary, while Route 162 runs along the northern boundary.

Lake view Horseshoe Lake State Park
CC: Social Channel of park


Parking is available

Public Transport 

Public Transport is not available

Horseshoe Lake State Park Photos

Horseshoe Lake State Park Map