Red Hills State Park
Open: Open all year
Number of Sites: 100
Number of Full Hookup Sites: 100
For wildflowers, fresh foliage and soothing breezes in the spring...picnicking, camping, hiking, boating and fishing in the summer...appreciating the brilliant hues of autumn's colorful plumage...or ice skating and ice fishing in the brisk, blue winter...Red Hills State Park is waiting for you.
In southeastern Illinois midway between Olney and Lawrenceville on U.S. 50, Red Hills is a carefully preserved and maintained 967-acres of high wooded hills, deep ravines, captivating meadows and year-round springs. It's the perfect setting for natural relaxation and outdoor activities. The sparkling 40-acre lake is ideal for fishing and boating.
Pause to enjoy the spectacular scenic view from atop Red Hills-- the highest point of land between St. Louis and Cincinnati -- and the 120-foot tower and cross rising from its summit, this unspoiled sanctuary from everyday life provides a great opportunity to relax and rediscover nature.
A satellite area of the park, the 627-acre Chauncey Marsh Nature Preserve, contains the best remaining example of what is called a Wabash Border Marsh Ecosystem, with marshes, dry and wet prairie, lush bottomland forest and thriving riverline communities. During late July and early August beautiful pink and white hibiscus and hairy rose mallow are in bloom.
Veterans' Point is a one-quarter acre parcel of land that is available to local veteran groups to honor ex-servicemen of all wars and to provide a place for their gatherings.
For family outings, what better way to spend a day than to have a picnic. Red Hills has pleasant, shaded picnic areas throughout the park, with tables and grills. There are three picnic shelters for large gatherings, two reservable and one first-come, first-serve, and six playgrounds for the kids. All areas are convenient to parking lots. Facilities are handicapped accessible.
For longer stays, there are more than 100 Class A campsites with vehicular access that provide electricity, a sanitary dump station, water and access to a modern handicapped-accessible building with showers and flush toilets. Some sites are pull-through with 50 amp service.
Handicapped sites are also available. In addition, there is a primitive tent camping area, rent-a-camp cabin, an equestrian campground and, in the North Park, a youth group tent camping area. Camping permits must be obtained from the park staff.
Eight miles of refreshing, scenic trails of moderate difficulty wind through the park, where the vibrant colors of redheaded woodpeckers, bluejays and wild canaries can be seen.
For the intermediate hiker, Indian Treaty, Robin, Valley Springs and Tulip trail loops overlap each other on the hilly north side of U.S. Route 50 for about 3 miles. There is also a 5-mile trail for horseback riding and bicycling when soil conditions permit.
Trails can be used by both equestrians and bicyclists. Check with park staff for open dates. A Class C equestrian campground is available. A local Saddle Club hosts horse shows once a month from April - October at the Red Hills Arena.
Fishing and Boating
A paved road circles the lake, and bank fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill is very popular.
A boat launch is available or you can rent a boat from the concession. However, gas motors are not allowed.
In the winter months, when the ice is thick enough, you can go ice fishing and enjoy ice skating on the lake. There are also sledding opportunities.
Squirrel, dove, woodcock, quail and rabbit are plentiful in season. Archery deer hunting is also permitted. There is a check station where all hunters must check in and out. Consult the park staff for specific information about shooting times and opening dates.
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