Spotting Bald Eagles in Clinton County, IL

We’re fortunate here in Clinton County to be in a community where not only great people live, but where bald eagles do too. If you’d love to get a look at one of these majestic raptors, you’re in the right place.

PHOTO: Ray Hennessy/UnSplash

Bald eagles are found throughout the continental United States, Alaska, and Canada. Because they hunt fish, you’ll find them hanging out in areas near water. Clinton County has both the Kaskaskia River and Carlyle Lake, the largest manmade lake in Illinois—so plenty of water for eagles to do their fishing!

Here are a few choice places in the County to find eagles up in the trees, soaring above, or swooping in for a fish.

Drive over to the east side of Carlyle to the General Dean Bridge area, by the Kaskaskia River. There are trails on both sides of the river between the bridge and the dam which not only make for a nice hike, but great viewing.

At Carlyle Lake, head to the Dam West Boat Ramp, the picnic area, or the top of the Dam—all provide good, unobstructed views of the Lake and any eagles preying the water.

The Coles Creek area, on the east side of the lake, offers viewing as well, particularly at the Elmwood, Grasher Creek and Maple Grove access points. North of Boulder, also on the east, there is parking and access—and good points to watch—at the North and East Fork areas.

On the west side of the lake, north of Keyesport, is the Tamalco Access, another fine place to spot eagles, as well as any water birds that are calling the lake home for the winter.

Remember, even when you’re not “on the lookout” for eagle, you might see them. So keep alert anytime you are out and about in Clinton County.

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