Pyramid State Recreation Area consists of forested hills, lakes and ponds. Southern Illinois University owned and used 924 acres of the site for research, transferring the land to the state in 1968 for a State Recreation Area. Additional land acquisition, including acquisition of the Arch Mineral Properties and the purchase of the 520-acre satellite area known as Campbell Pond, brought the total overall acreage to 19,701. Pyramid SRA is the largest IDNR-managed site in Illinois. The name derives from a coal mine that once existed here.
More than 500 acres of water form lakes varying in size from 0.1 acres to 276 acres offer outstanding fishing opportunities. The largest lake on the property, known as Super Lake, is located on the Captain Unit. Most of the lakes on the original Pyramid site were created prior to 1950. Since many of the lakes can be reached only by foot, Pyramid affords an opportunity for the angler to get away from crowds.