Ferne Clyffe State Park

 

Campground Type
State Park

Location:
Rt.37, P.O. Box 10
Goreville, Illinois 62939

Phone:
618-995-2411

Web:
Ferne Clyffe State Park

Campground Details

Open: Open all year

Ferne Clyffe has been known as an outstanding natural scenic spot for nearly 100 years. An abundance of ferns, unique geological features and unusual plant communities create an atmosphere that enhances the many recreational facilities offered at the park. Trails wind through picturesque woods, allowing visitors to view fascinating rock formations and inspiring vistas.

Ferne Clyffe Lake
Since 1960, the 16-acre Ferne Clyffe Lake has offered visitors additional recreational and scenic opportunities. The lake has a maximum depth of 22 feet, and a hiking trail encompasses the 1-mile shoreline. It is open to bank fishing, but boating and swimming are prohibited. Spectacular views of the lake can be seen from Lakeview Picnic Shelter and Blackjack Oak Trail.

Picnicking
Ferne Clyffe has been a favorite picnic spot for decades. There are seven picnic areas, all with tables, cooking grills, parking and toilets. Several areas also have shelters, drinking water and playground equipment. Only park grills or personal cookstoves should be used for cooking fires to avoid the possibility of damaging the site.

Camping
Ferne Clyffe has a campground for every type of camper: modern, primitive, youth groups, backpack or equestrian. The shower facilities that are offered at some campgrounds are available seasonally.

Deer Ridge campground is a well-shaded Class A facility offering gravel pads with electricity, picnic tables and cooking grills. Drinking water, showers, flush toilets and a sanitary dump station complete the setting for campers who prefer to include a few comforts of home with their outdoor adventure.

Turkey Ridge is for campers who want a serene outdoor experience. It is a Class C walk-in campground that includes camp pads, picnic tables, cooking grills and showers. Drinking water and toilets are located near the parking lots.

Scouts, church groups and other youth groups will enjoy the Youth Group campground. This Class D facility is equipped with drinking water, picnic tables, cooking grills, toilets and parking. Groups of minors must have adequate supervision, and at least one adult must accompany a group of 15 minors.

Backpackers enjoying their commune with nature will appreciate the solitude of the individual campsites in the Class C Backpack campground. Located a half-mile from the Turkey Ridge primitive campground parking lot, these woodland sites have cooking grills, toilets and showers. Water and trash receptacles are available at the Turkey Ridge parking lot. You're reminded to be careful with your fires and to pack out what you pack in.

Equestrian
Horseback riders can ride directly to their own Class C Equestrian campground on the trail or drive to it in their vehicles. Up to 25 riders can be accommodated at the site, which includes picnic tables, drinking water, cooking grills, toilets, parking and showers. The campground is well-shaded by an abundance of trees, and you must protect the trees by tying horses to the hitching rails. There are no horses available for rent.

Sites in the Deer Ridge, Turkey Ridge and Youth Group campgrounds do not require advance reservations. Backpackers and horseback riders should, however, make advance arrangements through the park office.

Trails
Eighteen diverse trails offer visitors the chance to view the beauty of Ferne Clyffe at their own pace. Please note that the park does not allow motorized vehicles or bicycles on the trails. Equestrian use is allowed on equestrian designated trails. Equestrian trails are closed to horses from November 1 to April 30. Naturally occurring dangerous areas exist within the park, so exercise awareness and caution. For your safety, it's recommended you hike on designated trails. Each trail has been assigned a number, as well as a name, to make map reading easy for even the novice hiker.

Round Bluff Nature Preserve
Just south of the Lakeview Picnic Shelter is the 53-acre Round Bluff Nature Preserve. This area is a marvelous mix of unique geological features and unusual plant communities. Each season brings its own beauty to the area, but spring and fall are the most colorful seasons. Dutchman's breeches, trillum, spring beauty, trout lily and other woodland wildflowers add vibrant color to the ground cover in the spring. Fall's colder temperatures change the deep greens of the summer tree foliage to a spectacular mix of reds, purples, golds and browns that cover every hillside.

Within the preserve, hiking is restricted to marked trails only. All plants and animals within the preserve are protected by law.
 

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