After the summer crowds have dispersed and the campgrounds are emptied is a great time to visit Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area.
Eldon Hazlet was named for a Carlyle, Illinois, attorney who was the first president of the Kaskaskia Valley Association, and covers 3,000 acres on the western shore of Lake Carlyle. It’s a prime camping location because of the great access for boating, swimming, fishing, and picnics. But come fall, the pace slows down and Eldon Hazlet becomes a wonderful place to enjoy the season’s colors, with more than nine miles of trails that offer easy to moderate hiking.
Thanks to managed resource programs, Eldon Hazlet has a multitude of grasses and legumes, including a restored tallgrass prairie with more than 50 species of native plants. Dear, red fox, woodchucks, quail and a bountiful number of wading birds and songbirds live or migrate here. This time of year, more than 200,000 waterfowl stopover on their travels south.
Eldon Hazlet is also a favorite of fall hunters, with 50-plus acres designated for archery deer, dove, and upland game hunting. A controlled pheasant hunt—held most years from early November to early January—brings up to 125 hunters a day, from Wednesdays through Sundays. The park also offers opportunities for disabled hunters, and a youth hunting program during the holidays for those under age 18 who are accompanied by an adult.
Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area
20100 Hazlet Park Road, Carlyle, IL
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