This day use area sits on the southern shore of Lake Shelbyville in the heart of central Illinois. This facility has a variety of amenities and offers outdoor activities for people of all ages, including walking trails, picnicking, fishing, playing outdoor games such as volleyball or horseshoes, and simply relaxing. Located in Dam East is the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center which is open to the public and features an exhibit hall and a butterfly garden as well as a breathtaking view of the lake.
The area features the General Dacey Trail, a multi-use biking and walking trail which extends through the south end of the lake, spillway, the dam, and into the city park. The shoreline is accessible in some areas for fishing opportunities. Some of the local fish in the lake are catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, muskie, walleye, white bass, and bluegill. There is an on-site playground for children as well as a volleyball net and horseshoe pit for family games. There are several picnic areas located throughout which are perfect for a family cookout or a perfect spot to eat for a lunch break.
There is one reservable picnic shelter that has 3 picnic tables under the shelter. There are also 4 concrete tables adjacent to the shelter. The shelter has a group grill and a fireplace as well as overhead lights and 2 electrical outlets. Flushable restrooms and the playground are located a short distance from the shelter. There is a paved parking lot available within walking distance to the shelter. The Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center adjoins the parking lot and is open to the public.
The day use area is shaded by oaks and hickory trees. Much of the day use area overlooks the lake. Numerous species of songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors inhabit the lake area, as do mammals such as cottontail rabbit, white-tail deer, gray and fox squirrel, muskrat and mink. In this area, turkeys are frequently seen, and depending on the season, bald eagles can be seen flying over the lake.
The Lake Shelbyville Dam is located a short driving distance southwest of the day use area. Located just a mile away, the town of Shelbyville offers small town boutiques as well as eateries to explore. Dam West Recreation Area is a popular location for swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities, and it is located just a short drive west of Dam East.
From Shelbyville, Illinois, go one mile east of Shelbyville on State Route 16 to Dam East Recreation Area. Turn left into Dam East Recreation Area. Take 2nd right into Dam East Recreation Area and Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center parking lot.