Visitors Guide to
Baldwin Lake
State Fish & Wildlife Area


 
10981 Conservation Road
Baldwin, Illinois
618-785-2555

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Wildlife Viewing Accessible Fishing Opportunities Boat Ramp Primitive Camping Accessible Restrooms

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Baldwin Lake is a 2,018-acre cooling lake owned by the Illinois Power Company. The lake is located within the Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area in Randolph and St. Clair Counties near Baldwin, Illinois. The lake is one of several perched cooling lakes in Illinois. Unlike most artificial lakes that are created by dams, a perched cooling lake formed by levees that help the lake catch the wind to cool the hot water created by a power plant. Baldwin Lake was created by building an 8-mile levee around an area of Kaskaskia River bottomland and dredging out sections of the area inside the levee. The levee gives the lake a neat rectangular shape. The lake averages a depth of 8 feet, however old creek channels and ponds provide areas of 20 to 50 feet in depth. Baldwin Lake is leased to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to manage for public recreational use.

The warm water created by the power plant creates a longer growing season for fish than in other types of lakes and fishing at Baldwin Lake is good year round and is very popular during the winter months. The lake boasts excellent populations of largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, bluegill, crappie, and a variety of catfish. Anglers can fish from boats or from certain areas of the levee with a section that is handicapped accessible. Facilities include a two-lane launching ramp and boat docks. Motors of 50 horsepower or less are allowed. Sail boating, swimming, and water skiing are prohibited. Due to the open nature of the lake, boat and water safety are urged, particularly on windy days.

The Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area and Baldwin Lake are designated as a waterfowl and wildlife refuge. During the winter, peak populations of 10,000 geese and 20,000 ducks may be seen in the area. A waterfowl refuge drive provides easy viewing of these birds. Other wildlife that may be observed along the refuge drive includes white-tailed deer, shorebirds, wild turkeys, hawks, and various songbirds. Picnic facilities, toilets, and drinking water are available on the site. Primitive camping is permitted on lands adjacent to the Kaskaskia River.

Visiting Baldwin Lake
     Visiting Hours
          April 17 - October 31: 6 am to 9 pm
          November 1 - February 16: 6 am to 9 pm
          February 17 - April 16: 6 am to 9 pm
There is no charge to visit Baldwin Lake.


Directions: From IL-3 (the Great River Road) in Red Bud take IL-154 east to Baldwin. In Baldwin turn north on 5th Street (will turn into Baldwin Road) and travel 3.6 miles, passing the Illinois Power generating facility. At the intersection of Baldwin Road and Risdon School Road, turn west (left) and travel a little over one mile to the park entrance gate.

GPS Coordinates
N  38°  13.806'
W 89°  52.672'

Learn more about the Randolph County area.

 
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