Plan Your Visit

fishing dock


Directions, Address & Contact Info 

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

8588 Route 148

Marion, IL   62959

E-mail: craborchard@fws.gov

Phone Number: 618-997-3344

 

Crab Orchard Visitor Center Hours 

Daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

 

Getting There

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.

 

Point of Interest 

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. 1.

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 2.2-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.

 

Know Before You Go 

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 recommended.

 

Entrance and User Fees

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is a federal fee area and 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. Refuge passes are available as follows:


One day pass - $2.00 for a vehicle and watercraft, 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.

Seven day pass - $5.00 for a vehicle and watercraft.

Annual pass - $15.00 for a vehicle, $10.00 for a watercraft.

Lifetime Senior Pass - $80.00 per person age 62 or older. Also provides a 50% discount for pass owner on some expanded amenity fees such as camping. The Lifetime Senior Pass provides access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Annual Senior Pass - $20.00 per person age 62 or older. Valid for 12 months from the time of purchase. Also provides a 50% discount for pass owner on some expanded amenity fees such as camping. The Annual Senior Pass provide access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Access Pass - a free lifetime pass for disabled persons. Also provides a 50% discount for pass owner on some expanded amenity fees such as camping. The Access Pass provide access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

America the Beautiful Annual Pass - $80.00 - valid for 12 months from the time of purchase – provide access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Annual 4th Grade Pass - a free pass valid for the duration of the 4th grade school year though the following summer (September-August). This pass is available for U.S. 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) with a valid Every Kid in a Park paper pass. The student must be traveling with the family.