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Horseshoe Lake is located off Highway 111 in Madison County which lies in the southwestern part of Illinois. Only minutes away from a large surrounding urban area, the park offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities on 2,960 acres. Horseshoe Lake is situated in a low flood plain. This flood plain follows the Mississippi River down to the Kentucky border. Before the present system of levies was constructed, heavy spring floods would cause the river to overflow its banks. It would sometimes change directions and cut a new channel through these bottomlands. During this process an old river section was cut off from the flowing channel forming a natural oxbow lake. Horseshoe Lake was formed in this manner. Horseshoe Lake has been inhabited by various American Indian groups throughout time. The earliest evidence of their activity at this site dates 8000 B.C. during the Archaic Period. Artifacts have also been found which fall into the Woodland period 1000 B.C.-1000 A.D. During this time the “Mighty Metropolis” known as Cahokia Mounds was built. Nearby the 30,000 to 40,000 mound builders farmed extensively but still relied on Horseshoe Lake’s rich food source. Today there still remains an earthen platform mound inside the park boundaries.Read More