Community Information (42)
PO Box 51, Hwy 127
Alto Pass, IL 62905
Blue Sky Vineyard
Cellars de Santom
2709 Lone Oak Road
Ava, IL 62907
Monte Alegre Vineyard
4473 Ponce Trail
Carbondale, IL 62901
Owl Creek Winery
2655 Water Valley Road
Cobden, IL 62920
2865 Hickory Ridge Road
Pomona, IL 62975
Von Jakob Vineyards, Ltd.
Over time, erosion has carved this deep box canyon exposing its majestic bluffs. Below thrives a cool and lush bottomland habitat upon the canyon floor. Along the upper portions of the trail, visitors encounter expansive views of eth colorful cliffs, the Big Muddy River, and the Mississippi floodplain. The canyon floor showcases seasonal waterfalls, large sandstone overhangs, and towering beech and sycamore trees.
Known for its plant and animal diversity, this area also provides a haven for many neotropical migratory songbirds during the Spring and Fall. Year-round residents include raccoon, mink, fox, deer, and bobcat along with several birds, amphibians and reptiles. The rock ledges serve as snake dens for the copperhead, cottonmouth, and timber rattler, along with a few nonpoisonous species. From the scenic overlooks turkey vultures and hawks are often seen, soaring over the treetops.
Length: 3.6 Miles
Safety: Flash floods occur in the canyon, be aware of developing weather conditions. Extra caution should be used where the trail is near the bluffs at the entrances into the canyon and when traveling on wet, slippery rocks. Be aware of hunting seasons. Poison ivy, dead snags and poisonous snakes are present in the canyon.
From Murphysboro take State Highway 127 south 6 miles to Etherton road; then west 5 miles.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Built in 1950 by the Division of Fisheries, the 145-acre lake is a tributary of Indian Creek and has a watershed of approximately 4,500 acres. The maximum water depth is 36 feet, and the lake's 7.5-mile shoreline is made up of rolling hills covered with a wide variety of trees. A 600-foot dam is located at the south end of the park. A smaller lake, called Little Lake is located just too the north of Lake Murphysboro.
Shaded picnic areas may be found in convenient locations around the lake. For larger groups there are two shelter houses, one with drinking water and playground equipment. Parking areas are available at both shelters. Handicapped-accessible toilet facilities are located in the concession area and in the Big Oak and Shady Rest camping areas. A concession stand near the boat docks offers a variety of supplies and refreshments.
Fishing & Boating
Soon after its completion, Lake Murphysboro was stocked with breeder- and yearling-size largemouth bass. In the fall of 1951, red ear sunfish were introduced, followed by bluegill the next spring. Channel catfish are also frequently stocked. To keep the fish population at good levels submerged vegetation and water draw-downs are used to keep the number of small panfish down. No matter what form of fishing you prefer, you will appreciate the variety of fish available; largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, channel catfish, red ear and crappie
Bank and boat fishing are also available on the smaller lake, but no motorboats are allowed.
Well-equipped campsites located in scenic areas of the park provide the perfect opportunity to extend your stay at Lake Murphysboro. Campers who want to truly experience nature will appreciate the 20 tent sites. Those who love nature, but like the comforts of home will prefer the 54 trailer sites that are equipped with electricity. A sanitary disposal station is located near the trailer area.
All campers must obtain a permit from the site superintendent.
A three-mile designated trail offers hikers the opportunity to enjoy the plant, animal and bird life of the park up close. For those who prefer to explore nature on their own, hundreds of paths crisscross through the hills and woods of the park.
An archery range is located in the northeast section of the park.
When Illinois was admitted to the Union in 1818, the Federal Government gave Illinois three saline lands. One of them, located less then a mile southwest of the park, was leased to Dr. Conrad Will, who served in both the Illinois House and Senate in the early days of statehood. Dr. Will operated a salt works at the site, and the town of Brownsville grew up around it. The saltworks closed in 1840, and all that remains of the town is a cemetery.
Although the State of Illinois did not purchase the land that would become Lake Murphysboro State Park until 1948, interest in the area as a public recreational park began in the 1930s. Originally developed by the State's Division of Fisheries, Lake Murphysboro State Park was transferred to the Division of Parks and Memorials in 1955. Today, the park is maintained by the Department of Conservation.
Topography varies from sandstone bluff formations to rolling hills surrounding the lake where oaks and hickories predominate. Numerous flat contours are planted with prairie grasses, cool-season grasses and wildlife food plots.
Facilities & Picnicking
13693 Illinois 149
Murphysboro, IL 62966
Hours of Operation:
(Kitchen Closes at 9pm)
Prices updated 11/22/2011 and subject to change
Hot Wings $6.99
Fried Mushrooms $4.95
Fried Cauliflower $4.95
Fried Greenbeans $5.29
Chicken Strips $6.99
BBQ Pork $4.39
BBQ & 1 Side $6.19
BBQ Turkey $4.69
BBQ Turkey Club $5.79
Grilled Chicken $5.49
Cajun Chicken $5.49
Patty Melt $4.49
Spinach Salad $5.99
BBQ Chef Salad $6.99
Grilled Chicken Salad $7.95
Blue Walnut Spinach Salad $6.99
Dressings: Ranch,French, 1000 Island, Poppyseed, Honey Mustard, Caesar, Vinegarette, House
12oz Ribeye $13.95
Ocean Cod Fish Dinner $10.29
Half Fried Chicken $7.95
Quarter Fried Chicken $4.95
Sunday Special: $9.29
Style - All you can eat: Fried Chicken, Green Beans, Mashed Potatos & Gravy, and Cole Slaw
Homade Chili or Soup of the Day
Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo $9.95
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo $9.95
Chicken Parmesan $10.95
Pasta Con Broccoli $8.95
Grilled Cheese $3.00
Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Green Beans, Potato Salad, AMashed Potatoes, French Fries
$1.69 (Free Refills)
Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mt. Dew, 7up, Pink Lemonade, Tea, Coffee
MURPHYSBORO - As the "Weekend in Murphysboro" photojournalism workshop came to a close Sunday, Southern Illinois University Carbondale students reflected on their weekend experiences and the opportunities they had to work together on a project and have professional feedback on their pictures. "Its something you don't get in the classroom," said Joe Rehana, a senior photojournalism student. "I think it's really helped me quite a bit, and it really got me excited about shooting this weekend." About 30 students spent the entire weekend photographing life in Murphysboro, a type of workshop that is common in the world of photojournalism education, but the first of its kind in Southern Illinois. Students worked sunrise to sunset, shooting stories throughout the community and receiving feedback from guest professionals from all over the country. Organizers said the workshop was a huge success in that it brought the students together as a group and helped them build their talents individually. "What I saw this weekend was a group of students who came in as individuals, but formed a bond and became a photo community," said Phil Greer, photojournalist-in-residence at the university. "They worked together, they were able to bounce their ideas off of each other and they got to watch the editing process with a different set of eyes." All of the photographs the students took in Murphysboro will be given to the city to be used for promotional purposes and there have been talks of making a coffee-table book out of the pictures as well. Greer said the city has received the project with open arms and that has really helped the students build necessary skills. "They certainly opened up the town and their hearts and homes to us," he said. "You couldn't ask for a better situation than what we had here." The students, he said, were able to better develop the people skills needed to be good photojournalists than when they take photographs on campus, being in a new environment and being more interested in their subjects. Having the chance to work as a group, they learned a lot about each other's style. "You realize that each person has a different way of viewing this town," said Ashley Andersen, a senior photojournalism student. "What is interesting to them isn't always interesting to everyone else. It was amazing how it all came together." The experience was sweetened for students by the participation of Canon and Apple, two of the biggest names in photography and computer equipment, who lent a large amount of gear to the students for the weekend's use. Representatives from Canon were on-site throughout the weekend to loan out top-of-the-line cameras and lenses to students in need. "Canon likes to utilize these opportunities to support education because we realize that students are our future," said Brian Matsumoto, professional marketing representative for Canon's camera division and 1981 SIUC alum. With Matsumoto's help, SIUC's Journalism and Cinema and Photography departments have received generous donations in recent years. Last month, for example, Canon donated an entire palette of brand-new camera equipment to the university's School of Journalism, greatly increasing the school's equipment inventory for student use. While the workshop won't always take place in Murphysboro, the school plans on holding a similar weekend-long event every year from now on, adding to the photojournalism program's other in-the-field learning experiences, like the Cairo Project and the Shawnee Project. "The little towns really don't get the exposure that they should," said Greer. "This is the way that we can help with showing people what quality of life is like here in Southern Illinois and also show the problems of the area."
This article originally appeared in The Southern Illinoisian
Buy the book, "A Weekend in Murphysboro," for $20 at the Daum Administration Building or the SIUC School of Journalism in the Communications Building in Carbondale.
For additional information, contact 618.534.0226.