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The Lakes of Olney

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Olney, Outdoors, Recreation

Olney, Illinois’ claim to fame may be their white squirrels but travelers have quickly begun to realize they have other great attractions as well. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, make sure to add the Lakes of Olney. Check out more information about these amazing lakes. 

Borah Lake

Cast a line in the prime fishing areas or enjoy an afternoon on the beach of Borah Lake.

Borah Lake was constructed in 1955-56 as a water source to replace Verner Lake. The lake covers 136 acres and is located north of East Fork Lake off Golf Lane. A beach area for swimming is located near the boat launch area. The beach is open daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It is not supervised by lifeguards and closes daily at sunset.

Vernor Lake

Located 1 1/2 miles north of Olney on Route 130, Vernor Lake was constructed in the early 1900s as Olney’s original water source. Currently, the 45-acre lake is used for recreational purposes only.

A small wooded park is located on the north side of the lake and is an excellent location for fishing and picnicking. Privately owned cottages line the shore or Vernor Lake and the Richland County Country Club adjoins it to the north.

Boating is permitted on Vernor Lake with the proper permit, but motors are limited to 10 h.p.

East Fork Lake Dock from Dam

East Fork Lake

East Fork Lake was built in 1970 for the purpose of recreation and a primary water source for Olney. The lake covers 935 acres and has a water storage capacity of 5.5 billion gallons. The maximum depth is 35 feet.

East Fork Lake provides both the sports fisherman and the pleasure boater a picturesque area to enjoy the outdoors with its tree-lined banks and attractive residential areas. The lake is well known for the variety of fish it supports. Sport fishermen can fish for bluegill, channel catfish, bullhead catfish, crappie, bass, walleye and red ear.

No swimming is allowed on East Fork Lake except from a boat in the no wake area immediately west of the St. Marie Road.

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