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Pyramid State Park is one of Southern Illinois’ hidden gems.

I visited the park over the weekend and wasn’t able to cover a fraction of the place in the couple of hours I was there. I did, however, manage to get a few good shots of the beautiful blue skies and fall colors reflecting on the lakes as well as the giant cottonwoods, sycamores, and box elders reaching for the sky. There was of, of course, a critter or two along the way. Park models for the day: Armadillos. (See pics below.)

Here’s a little about the park:

When Pyramid Coal Company closed in 1959 the 954 acre piece of land ended up in the hands of the state by way of Southern Illinois University. SIU used the land to research rehabilitation of minded lands.

Later, in 1968, Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources obtained this stretch of land and started a nature preserve called Pyramid State Park. Land acquisitions over the years brings the park acreage to present date to 19,701 acres.

Pyramid State Recreation Area, as it is now known, is the largest IDNR-managed site in Illinois.

More than 500 acres of water form lakes varying in size from 0.1 acres to 276 acres offer outstanding fishing opportunities. The largest lake on the property, known as Super Lake, is located on the Captain Unit. Most of the lakes on the original Pyramid site were created prior to 1950. Since many of the lakes can be reached only by foot, Pyramid affords an opportunity for the angler to get away from crowds.Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources

For individual Pyramid lakes information click the links below:

Blue Goose | Blue Wing | Boulder | Canvasback | Goldeneye | Green Wing

Mallard | Merganser | Redhead | Super

Coal mining created the terrain within the park making unlike most in Illinois.

The recreation area encompasses 24 bodies of water where you can fish for large and smallmouth bass, catfish, bluegill, muskie, walleye, and northern pike or observe wetland birds. Some lakes are accessible only by foot.

Primitive campgrounds are available and sections are the park are wildlife managed allowing hunts for deer, prairie birds, and waterfowl in the appropriate seasons. It is a particularly favorite spot for bowhunters.

16.5 miles of trails are available for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain bikes.

The Audubon Society has noted PSRA an “Important bird area of Illinois” because of the grasslands located within the park. Home also to wetland birds such as the trumpeter swan and sandhill crane makes it an important habitat to protect.

Here are a few of the images I snapped. Check back in a couple of days and I should have all of them loaded.

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