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.
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.
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.
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
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.
W 89° 52.672'
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