Plan Your Visit

Visit Canoe

The refuge provides opportunities to hike, watch wildlife, and hunt rich wetlands and bottomland forests. Four boat ramps also provide access to the Cache River to fish, boat and canoe.

What to Know Before You Go:

Visitors are welcome to stop by the refuge office located on the Shawnee Community College Campus at 137 Rustic Campus Drive, Ullin, IL. The office is open Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., phone: 618-634-2231.  

Another destination stop includes the Cache River Wetlands Center operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Center is open Wednesday - Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and located at 8885 State Route 37, Cypress, IL, phone 618-657-2064.  

Remember to wear appropriate footwear for canoeing, sturdy shoes for land excursions and to dress for the weather. Consider bringing water, food, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and anything else that might make the outdoor experience more enjoyable. 

Please review the Refuge Hunting and Fishing brochure for area regulations and prohibited activities. This brochure also includes a map of Refuge ownership.

Refuge Hunting and Fishing Brochure 


 Attractions/Points of Interest:  


     Hickory Bottoms Trail
     Limekiln Springs Trail
Boat Ramps: 

     Cache Bend Access

     Old Cache Channel Access

     Cache Levee Access

     Lower Cache Access

Viewing Platforms: 

     Bellrose Overlook

 Inaccessible Areas:

Bellrose Waterfowl Reserve is closed to the public; however the Bellrose Overlook Platform provides a view of the grounds and is open to the public. Please rely on regulatory signs in the field to identify prohibited areas.

Getting Here: 

The refuge is located in the southernmost portion of Illinois with lands located in Alexander, Johnson, Pulaski and Union Counties. The refuge office is located at 137 Rustic Campus Drive, Ullin, IL 62992, on the campus of Shawnee Community College (nine miles east of Ullin, IL). Contact (618)-634-2231. 

Refuge office on Google Maps

Refuge Brochure