2018 Dutchmen Aspen Trail -
2018 Dutchmen Aspen Trail -
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Horseshoe Lake is an ‘oxbow lake’ in southwestern Illinois, close to the Illinois - Missouri state border and the cities of Collinsville, Granite City, and St Louis. The lake was created more than 3,000 years ago after a section of the Mississippi River was cut off from the channels main river. A crescent-shaped lake was formed. Horseshoe Lake is the second-largest natural lake in Illinois after Lake Michigan, and like most ancient lakes its average depth is only three feet. Despite this, Horseshoe Lake offers great conditions for both fishing and boating. This makes it the ideal Illinois lake for visiting with an RV rental.
Access to Horseshoe Lake in a rental RV is made even easier by both Highway 111 and Highway 162 passing its shoreline. With numerous campsites within the local area, RV camping at Horseshoe Lake has never been easier. Search for an RV in Madison County, and begin your own adventure.
The keen fishermen and women among you will be pleased to hear that Horseshoe Lake is somewhat of an anglers paradise. The lake is home to a wide range of fish species, each with their own sporting characteristics. Three public boat ramps provide access to the lake, and there is also an all-access fishing pier. Largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, and carp are here in high numbers. Catfish are known to be caught at Horseshoe Lake weighing up to forty pounds, perfect trophy size. Campers and anglers should note that boat fishing is not permitted during the waterfowl season.
Boating is the perfect way to spend your time on Horseshoe Lake and offers a chance to explore the many coves and secluded areas. The lake provides three public boat ramps, making access to the lake even easier. Those motorhome camping without their own boats should not worry as campers are not too far from access to rentals in the city of St Louis. Why not take a pontoon boat out onto the water, perfect for the whole family to enjoy a day out. This is also ideal for exploring the length and breadth of the lake. Horseshoe Lake campers should take note boats should not exceed fifty horsepower.
One of the stand-out qualities of Horseshoe Lake is its vibrant wildlife, especially its waterfowl and wild bird populations. Walker’s Island in the east of the lake is home to five different bird-watching habitats. Hikers can walk the self-guided trail on the island and treat themselves to views of several types of herons, and migratory waterfowl such as Canada geese. More wildlife can be seen in July and August when the southern portion of the lake is drained, attracting snowy egrets in search of clams and snails hiding in the mudflats. This perfect combination of hiking and wildlife watching is what gives Horseshoe Lake its unique appeal.
There are a couple of choices when it comes to camping at Horseshoe Lake, depending on camper's preferences. Safari RV Park is only a short distance south of the lake and offers campers a wide range of amenities. Full hookups are provided here, including 20, 30, 50 amp electrical, water, and sewage hookups. On-site facilities include a laundry facility, showers, and flushing toilets. Big-rigs are also welcome at Safari RV Park, as many pitches are pull-thru sites. WiFi is accessible throughout the site.
Should campers wish to camp directly on the edge of the lake, then head to the Horseshoe Lake recreational area. Although there are no hookups here, there are picnic tables and fire rings provided. There is also access to a dump station and flushing toilets. Though a primitive campsite, this is the ideal site to be in touch with Horseshoe Lake’s wildlife and natural surroundings.
Only a few miles west of Horseshoe Lake and known as the gateway to the west, St Louis is the perfect city to explore if you wish to venture further than the edge of the lake. No visit to St Louis would be complete without a trip to the famous The Gateway Arch National Park. The iconic arch commemorates the Louisiana Purchase and the subsequent westward movement of American explorers and pioneers. There is also a museum connected to the arch that offers exhibits and history of the arch.
For a perfect family fun day out, head to St Louis’s Zoo. Admission to this zoo is free, as is ideal for a family with young children. The zoo has a vast collection of animals, each with their own exhibits and habitats. Visitors will be shown through the zoo by experienced zookeepers, learning about each animal and its behavior in the wild. The zoo is divided into ‘zones,' each with their own specific animals, such as ‘Red Rocks,' here you will be greeted by lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, and pumas. St Louis Zoo was voted best zoo in the country several times by US Today and is sure not to disappoint.
Missouri History Museum is also another must-see when visiting St Louis, and access is again free. The museum can be both an educational and entertaining place for the whole family to enjoy. The museum’s signature collection includes both national artifacts, as well as Missouri and St. Louis related materials, such as local colonial and native artifacts, Louisiana purchase artifacts, and items relating to the Charles Lindbergh trans-Atlantic flight in the ‘Spirit of St Louis,' With such a rich collection, a visit to the Missouri History Museum is one not to be missed.