What’s the Largest Lake in Illinois? The Answer is Tricky
If someone asked you what the largest lake in Illinois is, could you tell them? I know one of the answers and, yes, there are more than one. It's tricky depending on some other specifics. Let's explore the possibilities.
A to Z Animals states as a fact that the largest man-made lake in Illinois is Lake Carlyle. The "man-made" part is key. The official website for Lake Carlyle says it spans a massive 26,000 acres.
The other reason why the largest lake in Illinois is the word "in". If the question is what lake in or connected to Illinois is, the answer is different as then it's Lake Michigan which measures a staggering 22,404 square miles.
What if you're asked what the largest "natural" lake is in Illinois? A different answer - again. That's Horseshoe Lake in Madison County. It's near Granite City and the area covers nearly 3,000 acres.
While Minnesota gets credit for being the state with 10,000 lakes, Illinois isn't that far behind. It just depends on whether you consider reservoirs which were made by humans as true "lakes" or if you are talking about naturally occurring waterways. Including all of those options, Lake Carlyle is as big as it gets in the Land of Lincoln.