Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
8588 Route 148
Marion, IL 62959
Phone Number: 618-997-3344
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is located in the
southern portion of Illinois, with lands in Williamson, Jackson, and Union
counties. The Refuge visitor center is located five miles west of Marion,
Illinois, and five miles south of Herrin, Illinois, on State Route 148.
To get to the Refuge visitor center from I-57, take exit 54
B onto IL-13W toward Carbondale for 3.6 miles until you reach the IL-148
intersection. At this intersection, turn left onto IL-148 and travel South 1.6
miles until you reach the Refuge visitor center. To get to the Refuge visitor center from
I-24, merge onto I-57 N via exit 44B for 1.3 miles until you reach exit 45,
IL-148. Take IL-148 North for 7.7 miles until you reach the Refuge.
The Refuge visitor center is located at 8588 Route 148 in
Marion. It is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The visitor center
offers exhibits of local wildlife and habitats, as well as maps, regulatory
brochures and entrance passes. Call for more information at 618-997-3344 ext.
The Pigeon Creek Day Use Area is located on Pigeon Creek
Road about a half mile west of route 148. The area is home to Martha’s Theater,
which is used for special events including the annual International Migratory
Bird Day celebration which takes place each May. It is also the meeting place
for many environmental education programs. The trailhead to the Harmony trail
is also located here. There is also a small picnic area and rest rooms.
Wolf Creek Causeway is one of the most popular spots on the
Refuge for fishing and wildlife observation. Fishing piers provide access for
bank fishing for crappie and other species. There is also a boat launch and
covered dock. Nearby Bogart Point offers additional fishing opportunities as
well as a picnic area and restrooms.
Rocky Bluff Trail is the Refuge’s most popular hiking trail.
It is located off of Tacoma Lake Road, adjacent to the Devils Kitchen Lake. The
1.8-mile loop trail traverses moderate terrain including ridges, valleys and
bluffs. It is spectacular in the springtime when wildflowers are abundant and
water flows over an intermittent fall.
The Prairie Creek Recreation Area is very popular with
anglers. Located just south of State Highway 13 in Carbondale this area boasts
excellent bank fishing and includes and accessible fishing pier. There are also
a boat ramps on both the north and south sides of the highway. Many fishing
tournaments stage here and hold their weigh-ins an on-site pavilion. Picnic
tables are also available.
To get the most enjoyment out of
your visit, be sure to come prepared. Always check the weather forecast before
heading out on the lakes or off down a trail. Be sure to dress appropriately
for the expected weather conditions. Also be prepared for insects in the spring
and summer, especially ticks. Wearing protective clothing or repellants is
Entrance passes are required for
all Refuge users. Passes can be purchased at the visitor center. The center is
open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily. Day passes may also be purchased
from self-service kiosks located at the visitor center and Devils Kitchen Lake
Campground. Little Grassy campground and Crab Orchard campgrounds also sell day
passes when they are open during the summer months.
Entrance Fees: Vehicle passes
include either a current Federal Duck Stamp ($25.00), valid July 1 to June 30;
a Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Pass ($15.00), valid July 1 to June 30;
a 1-Day Pass ($2.00); or a 7-Day Pass ($5.00). Annual passes are also
available. Vehicle entrance is free and a boat pass is 50% discounted for those
with: a Interagency Senior Pass for those 62 years of age or older ($10.00);
or an Interagency Access Pass, free for the blind or permanently disabled.
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Nesting bald eagles are easy to see on the Refuge during the fall and winter.