Lake Shelbyville, Illinois, USA

Also known as:  Shelbyville Lake, Shelbyville Reservoir

Seventeen miles and thousands of acres of water stretch out in front of power boaters leaving the dam at Lake Shelbyville. In addition to its wide expanses, Shelbyville Lake is rimmed with fingers and coves, making it an ideal choice for quiet boaters and anglers as well. Sprawling across 11,000 acres in South Central Illinois, the lake straddles the Shelby and Moultrie county line, offering more than enough water for – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Shelbyville! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Shelbyville cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Shelbyville! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Shelbyville cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Shelbyville

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Illinois - Central -

Seventeen miles and thousands of acres of water stretch out in front of power boaters leaving the dam at Lake Shelbyville. In addition to its wide expanses, Shelbyville Lake is rimmed with fingers and coves, making it an ideal choice for quiet boaters and anglers as well. Sprawling across 11,000 acres in South Central Illinois, the lake straddles the Shelby and Moultrie county line, offering more than enough water for everyone to enjoy.

Lake Shelbyville is an impoundment of the Kaskaskia River and created by the Shelbyville Dam. Construction on the dam began in May of 1963 and was completed in the summer of 1970. The lake was built for flood control, recreation and water storage. Managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Shelbyville Lake is the third largest inland lake in Illinois, though spring water levels can fluctuate significantly according to water needs.

The fishing in Lake Shelbyville is exceptional, promising large muskies to challenge anglers. In fact, the Illinois State Record muskie, an enormous 38 pound 8 ounce, 50-inch long monster, was pulled from the lake in April 2002. There are also healthy populations of large mouth bass, white bass, crappie, bluegill and walleye. The lake record catfish was caught in 2002 by Shelbyville resident Chris Rentfro. The catfish weighed 62 pounds,10 ounces and was four feet long. There are several guide services available locally to help anglers find the really big fish, and fishing boat rentals are also available. The US Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources District Fish Biologist manage several farms ponds to maintain the fish populations in Lake Shelbyville.

There are several finger coves stretching from the main body of Shelbyville Lake. Some of them are quiet and suited for fishing or kayaking and canoeing, while others are informally designated as party coves. There are some marinas and boat rentals for houseboats, pontoon, motor, and fishing boats. Most of the shoreline at Lake Shelbyville is undeveloped, but there are a few waterfront stops. Accommodations range from campgrounds for tents and RV’s, some of which are Corps-run, to resorts. There are also restaurants and the Lake Shelbyville Visitor’s Center.

Shelbyville Lake has trails for hiking and backpacking, and wildlife and waterfowl are abundant. The US Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois DNR, and Consolidated Communications raised nesting platforms to attract osprey. The two-foot tall raptors were decimated by DDT poisoning, but soon, lucky visitors to Lake Shelbyville might begin seeing pairs of the threatened bird. There is forested and open land near the lake for hunting. Pheasants, doves, quail, and waterfowl live around the lake. Rabbits, deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, coyotes, and foxes are also plentiful. Ten miles southeast of Shelbyville, the Hiddenspring State Forest has a thousand acres available for hunting.

Two state parks sit on the shore of Lake Shelbyville. On the west side of the lake, 2,200 acres Eagle Creek State park has miles of trails for hiking and cross country skiing. The park also has campsites and public boat launches. Wolf Creek State Park has a sand swimming beach and trails for snow mobiles and horses. Both state parks have picnic facilities.

Located at the dam, the town of Shelbyville has restaurants, shopping, and a variety of accommodations including bed and breakfasts. Vacation rentals include cabins, cottages and single family homes both on the lakefront and with lake views, and there is real estate for sale at Shelbyville and nearby Sullivan and Bethany. The Lincoln Log Cabin is just a few miles away. The 86-acre state historic site has a reproduction of President Abraham Lincoln’s father and stepmother’s two-room cabin. Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln’s cabin was rebuilt in 1935 by the CCC on the original cabin site. Today the working living history museum is staffed by volunteer interpreters, and it is a great example of rural Illinois life in 1845.

With its many coves and wide expanses of water, Lake Shelbyville has plenty of room for everyone. Pleasure boaters, power boaters, kayakers and fisherman will all find a spot on beautiful Shelbyville Lake.

Things to Do at Lake Shelbyville

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • State Forest
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Lake Shelbyville

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

All About Lake Shelbyville

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Shelbyville

The Lake Shelbyville map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Shelbyville Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Shelbyville Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Shelbyville Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Shelbyville Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Shelbyville lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 11,100 acres

Shoreline Length: 172 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 600 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 575 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 626 feet

Average Depth: 17 feet

Maximum Depth: 67 feet

Water Volume: 210,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1971

Drainage Area: 1,054 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Shelbyville news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Shelbyville forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Shelbyville photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Lake Shelbyville article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Shelbyville? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Shelbyville forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Shelbyville vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Shelbyville forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Shelbyville photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Shelbyville article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Shelbyville vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Lake Shelbyville forum group? Click Here

New Lake Shelbyville photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi