Kiser Lake SP

About this Location

The area surrounding Kiser Lake State Park is a gift of the ice age. Two natural phenomena caused by the glaciers helped shape the region into its present form. The gently, rolling wooded hills were caused by glacial deposits in the form of end moraines when the ice edge remained stationary for a period of time, creating a linear ridge along the ice front. One such moraine called the Farmersville surrounds the lake on three sides creating a hummocky elevation through the area. Moraine deposits contain boulders, some weighing many tons, carried from as far away as Canada. These boulders, called erratics, are a familiar sight at Kiser. Another geologic feature at Kiser Lake State Park is the kame field at the southeastern end of the lake. Kames are mounds of sand and gravel that are formed by meltwater flowing across glacial ice. The water deposits sediment into holes along the ice margin leaving behind hummocky mounds.

The wetlands at Kiser are in the form of fen and wet meadow habitats. These areas were formed when blocks of ice broke away from the glacier and became covered by sand and gravel. As the climate warmed, the ice melted and left a depression filled with water surrounded by glacial deposits. These areas are filled with many intriguing plants including pitcher plant, sundew, tamarack, and spruce.

Two prairie fen areas are the last vestiges of a 360-acre area known as Mosquito Lake Bog which occupied the upper Mosquito Creek Valley prior to the construction of Kiser Lake.

The Grandview Heights section in the south-central part of the park includes a meadow on the edge of the lake. The Headwaters section in the southeast part of the park includes meadows, marsh, and woods.

Unusual plant species present include shrubby cinquefoil, Kalm’s lobelia, grass-of-Parnassus, smaller fringed gentian, big bluestem, queen-of-the-prairie, Ohio goldenrod, and poison sumac.

The Kiser Lake Wetlands Nature Preserve is located in Champaign County within Kiser Lake State Park. The Headwaters section of Kiser Lake State Nature Preserve is located at the north end of Kiser Lake Road (County Road 19) at the headwaters of Kiser Lake. A boardwalk trail system is present.

Notable Trails

Kiser Lake State Park Trails
North Bay Trail
The North Bay Trail is a 3-mile out-and-back hike following the lakeshore for the entire distance. The trail runs northwest from the Marina to a picnic area. There is parking at either end of the trail.

Other Trails at Kiser Lake State Park
Possum Hollow Trail – 0.7 miles – Easy
Pine Tree Trail – 0.5 miles – Moderate
Rabbit Run Trail – 0.6 miles – Moderate
Marina Trail – .11 miles – Easy
Wetland Trail (Nature Preserve Boardwalk) – 0.7 miles – Moderate
Red Oak Trail – 0.7 miles – Moderate

The park also features 10 miles of bridle trail (Moderate).


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee