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
Whether you enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors, or prefer to reseach civil war history, Murphysboro has something for you to do. Located adjacent to the Shawnee National Forest, Murphysboro has many natural wonders such as the Pomona Natural Bridge and the Little Grand Canyon. Lake Kinkaid and Lake Murphysboro offer wonderful fishing and boating opportunities. The Shawnee Hills wine trail offers a tour through the beautiful landscape of Southern Illinois while tasting the great wines of the region which rival those from California. Civil War and History buffs will no doubt enjoy a visit to the General John A. Logan Museum.
The living beauty of the Shawnee National Forest spreads to the west and south of Murphysboro, with many points of interest only miles away. The forest is topographically diverse, covering 1/4 million richly wooded acres full of natural formations including lakes, ponds, rivers, rock formations, caves, hills and bluffs.
Other natural wonders are nearby. As the Big Muddy River winds its way to the Mississippi, it loops around the Little Grand Canyon National Recreational Trail, where steps carved in stone lead visitors down into a ruggedly scenic valley where ferns and other rare plants grow.
Oakwood Bottoms and Turkey Bayou offer glimpses of a forgotten natural landscape. Remote wilderness and wetlands access gives visitors a close up look at wild animal and plant life through walking trails and scenic overlooks.
The Pomona Natural Bridge is a natural stone formation located only 10 miles south of Murphysboro. The unique sandstone arch was carved by water over thousands of years.
Other notable sites within convenient driving or bicycling distance include Cedar Lake, Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge, Giant City State Park or the spectacular stone bluffs of Pine Hill.
These habitats are rich in wildlife of all varieties. Scheduled hunting seasons are available for deer, goose, pheasant, quail, rabbit, squirrel and turkey.
This fascinating stone arch, often referred to as a natural bridge, was formed by the forces of erosion over millions of years. This formation and other rock outcrops in the area consist of sandstone, a fairly soft, erodible bedrock. Water exerted its most powerful effect here, gradually washing away softer, less resistant sandstone leaving a natural rock bridge, spanning 90 feet.
Short loop trails lead through a mature oak-hickory and beech forest. As the trail descends to the creek bottom an overlook reveals a view of the natural bridge from above. There is a great photo spot at the base of the rock bridge where a semicircle of trees and rock outcroppings serve as a beautiful backdrop for this natural wonder.
Length: 1/3 Mile