Spring Lake is part of the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi Refuge National Wildlife and Fish Refuge between mile makers 532-536, directly south of Savanna.
It is a 3,146-acre lake which is divided into a upper lake (560 acres) and a lower lake (2.586 acres) by a cross dike. There is a total of 7.1 miles of levee around the lake, suitable for walking and biking.
Access to the refuge is located on IL Rt. 84 south of Savanna about two miles. A parking lot allows access to Spring Lake levee system and the Great River Bike Trail. The area also includes picnic tables, benches, and a place to launch your kayak or canoe.
Spring Lake serves as a refuge for migratory waterfowl and a majority of Spring Lake is closed from Oct. 1 until the end of Illinois duck season.
You can learn more about the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and should become familiar with the Rules and Regulations before heading out on the refuge.
Farther south on Riverview Road is the Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center, that also serves as the office of the USFWS’s Savanna District. There’s a paved lookout over Sloan Marsh with telescopes directly west of the center and an excellent spot to watch waterfowl during the fall migration.
Immediately following World War I, the area know as Spring Lake was diked and ditched for farming. In 1938 and 1939, the land was purchased by the Corps of Engineers for the creation of the lock and dam systems. Through seepage and springs located within the perimeter levee, a 3,000 acre lake had developed by 1946. The perimeter levee was breached in two places in the flood of 1965. The west breach was repaired in 1991 and the south side remains open. In 1995, a $3.3 million rehabilitation program project was started which included improving the levee system and cross dike, developing a 100-acre semi-mash in Lower Spring Lake, and subdividing the Upper Lake into three separate management cells for waterfowl.
Located less than a mile south of Savanna on IL Rt. 84, is the USFWS’s Frog Pond. This handicapped accessible fishing spot has a parking lot, picnic tables, benches, and a large fishing pier. Fishing is allowed in accordance with State and federal regulations.