Massac County

Mermet Lake

Located in the very farthest south portion of Illinois, Mermet Lake is well known for having regular Purple Gallinules. Other rare or difficult-t0-see species that have been found here include Neotropic Cormorant, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Least Tern, Anhinga.

The cattail and lily-pad marshes at the north end of the lake is where the Purple Gallinules have been found. Least Bittern and King Rail have been reported here as well. Other species that can be seen along the levee road surrounding the lake include Barred Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, Osprey, Carolina Chickadee, White-eyed Vireo, Fish Crow, Snowy Egret and Little Blue Heron.

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  • If visiting Mermet Lake in spring, take time to drive 15 miles further southeast to Ft. Massac State Park, Metropolis. Nearly the southernmost point of Illinois, Ft. Massac State Park is the IL welcome mat for spring migrants following the Mississippi Flyway. Wood warblers and other songbirds stop here for a break plus the park is bordered by the Ohio River to the south. The main park is just that and includes campsites with a nice stand of pines but state, public accessible, property runs east all the way to I24. Often closed to vehicle traffic, a paved road runs east/west thru this expanse of wooded bottomland as does a bike trail. State property continues east under I24. Both the paved road and bike trail continue east to, what google lists as “Belgrade Rd. which heads north out of the state property.