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Argyle Lake State Park Releases Summer/Fall 2024 Program Schedule


COLCHESTER, IL – Argyle Lake State Park has released their June to December 2024 schedule of programs being offered at the park.

All of the programs being offered are free and open to the general public, unless otherwise noted in the program description. Participation in any program involving the use of FOA equipment (skis, kayaks, paddleboards, etc.) will require participants to become a member of the Friends of Argyle organization. Annual membership fees are $10 per individual, $15 for a single parent family and $20 for a two parent family.

Any persons with special needs requests or concerns prior to the program date are asked to request arrangements
or accommodations.

For more specific program information or to register for a program, please call the park visitor center at (309) 776-3422 or
email [email protected].

Lake Exploration Pontoon Programs (MOST Fridays 6/28 to 11/8 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.; no program 9/13 or 10/11)

  • Come enjoy beautiful Lake Argyle while taking a relaxing morning pontoon boat ride on the lake as we watch for wildlife. Life jackets, binoculars and field guides will be available, or you’re welcome to bring your own. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited to 6 participants. Please email [email protected] or call (309)776-3422 for more information or to register.

2024 IDNR Free Fishing Days (June 14 – June 17)

  • The Illinois Department of Natural resources allows people of any age to fish without a fishing license or stamp one four-day weekend in June every year. The dates for Illinois’ 2024 Free Fishing Days are Friday, June 14th-Monday, June 17th.

Youth Fishing Derby (Saturday, June 15th – 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.)

  • The Youth Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, June 15th at the concession parking area near the lake. Kids can bring their own poles or fishing poles will also be available for children to borrow. All children must be chaperoned by an adult. Prizes & certificates will be awarded at 11:30.

2024 Kayaking at Lake Argyle

    • Saturday, June 8th – 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 6th – 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 3rd – 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
    • Saturday, September 7th – 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
    • Saturday, October 5th – 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
  • Join us for a morning or afternoon of paddling and enjoying nature on beautiful Lake Argyle. Kayaks paddles, and life jackets are being provided by the Friends of Argyle. Ten adult kayaks and 2 youth kayaks (for ages 5+) are available, so space is limited to the first 12 people to register for each tour. Two times are being offered each day and each outing will be about 2 hours. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the parking area near the dam/spillway for this program.

Stargazing at the Park

    • Friday, June 14, 2024 – 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
    • Friday, August 9, 2024 – 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.
    • Friday, October 25, 2024 – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Join us for three evenings of stargazing with retired WIU astronomy instructor Tom Van Heuklon and hobby astronomist Larry Knicl. Depending on the date, we will have the opportunity to observe planets and the Moon and possibly a comet (June), Saturn and the Moon (August), Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and remnants of the Orionids meteor shower (October); and many deep sky objects including star clusters, nebulae, other galaxies; and the varying seasonal constellations. These programs will be held at the parking lot near the park’s Sunset shelter (1 st left turn upon entering the park). For your comfort, bring a chair or blanket, insect repellent, and a flashlight. To make viewing safer, observing will be done using a telescope connected to a video screen, rather than a telescope eyepiece. In the event of inclement weather or poor visibility, these programs may be canceled, so call before heading out if the sky isn’t clear.

Arts in Nature Painting Classes

    • Saturday, June 1, 2024 – 10-12:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 13, 2024 – 10-12:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, September 28, 2024 – 10–12:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 7, 2024 – 10-12:00 p.m.

The Friends of Argyle Lake State Park will be hosting ‘Arts in Nature’ painting classes at Argyle Lake State Park at the park’s visitor center shelter. December class will be held at the maintenance building. West Prairie high school Art instructor, Jennifer Cordell will share her passion for painting while instructing participants in creating a nature painting. The program fee is $20, as all materials and supplies will be provided. Locally handcrafted Amish frames will be available for $10 if you’d like to frame your one of a kind masterpiece afterwards. Registration is limited to the first 20 people. All ages welcome with parental help.

Reptiles and Amphibians of Illinois (Saturday, July 13, 2024 – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.)

  • Come join the park natural resources coordinator and learn about the many reptiles and amphibians found at the park and across Illinois. A few live specimens, which may include a nonvenomous snake, a box turtle, frog(s), and a lizard will be available for viewing (and optional handling). Children will receive handouts to learn more about these interesting creatures and experience many hands-on activities! Meet at the park’s visitor center shelter for this program.

Owls of Illinois (Saturday, August 3, 2024 – 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.)

  • Join us for a hootin’ good time learning about the owls that inhabit Argyle Lake State Park. Participants will learn about the owl’s many unique hunting adaptations and its diet by dissecting an owl pellet. We will use a recording of various owl calls to encourage the owls to call back to us. Meet at the park’s Prairieview shelter (2nd right) for this program.

Fall Colors Nature Hike (Saturday, Oct. 5, 2024 – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.)

  • As the breezes become a little brisk and the days begin to shorten, nature begins the process of preparing for the cold winter months ahead. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy nature and the magnificent colors of autumn throughout the park. We will meet at the visitor center at 10:00 a.m. and hike 1-2 miles on moderate terrain.

Illinois Bats: Facts and Myths (Saturday, October 18, 2024 – 6:00-7:30 p.m.)

  • Join us at Argyle Lake as we learn about our only true flying mammal….BATS!!! Local educator and outdoor enthusiast, Mary McMahon will dispel many myths about bats during this informative and entertaining presentation about these mysterious mammals. Participants will have the opportunity to listen to nearby bats feeding on flying insects using an echolocation detection device. Many informative handouts will be available. Meet at the park’s visitor center shelter for this program.

Atkinson McCord Cemetery Tour (Saturday, October 26, 2024 – 10 a.m. – Noon)

  • Join park staff for a historical walking tour of the Atkinson/McCord cemetery located on the park’s property. Participants should be able to walk ½ mile on moderate terrain to access the cemetery. Meet at the park visitor center or at the trap range area.

Woodland Wonders Nature Hike (Saturday, November 9, 2024 – 10 – 11:30 a.m.)

  • Explore the wonders of nature and discuss how wildlife and plants prepare for the cold winter months to come on this morning hike on one of Argyle’s most popular trails. Hike will begin at 10 a.m. at the visitor center and conclude by noon.

Winter Woodland Wonders Nature Hike (Saturday, December 7, 2024 – 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.)

  • Join the site naturalist as we explore the trails of the park in search of the many wonders of winter just waiting to be discovered. Hike topics may include how animals survive in winter, identifying tracks and other wildlife signs, winter tree ID and the mysteries of snow and snowflakes. Hike will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the park visitor center.


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