Ferne Clyffe State Park

Location: Goreville, Illinois

Webpage: Illinois State Park

General Description: Ferne Clyffe State Park is conveniently located at the junction of I-24 and I-57 northwest of Paducah and south of Carbondale.  It is a relatively large state park, 2430 acres, with many recreational amenities.  These amenities include hiking trails, fishing, boating, and camping.  The campgrounds includes sites for RVs, tents, backpacking, and equestrian.  The RV sites are gravel pads with electric hookups.  While each site does not have a water hookup there are numerous spigots scattered throughout the campgrounds.  Amenities within the campground include bathroom/shower facilities, playground, and hiking trails.

Impressions:

1) This is a lovely campground that is heavily used due to its proximity to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  Some of the sites are close enough to water spigots to hook up directly, however, it was not difficult to find a spigot close to the road to fill up the fresh water tank before pulling into the site.  There are a couple of pull-through sites, but these are reserved for handicap campers.  Most of the sites are back-in, however, they are angled to make backing up easier.

Campgrounds

2) The bathrooms are modern and heated and kept relatively clean during the week.  The campground host was not much help as we had an issue with the site we reserved.  Since the park rangers handled the reservations with no way for the campground host to access it, all they could tell us was to find another site without a reserved tag on it.  However, once the park ranger came around late in the afternoon, we found out this site was reserved for the weekend and we had to move to a different site the next day.  It would have been a lot better if the campground host could have told us this in the first place.

Bathroom

3) There are a number of interesting trails in the state park, two of which head out from the campground.  We enjoyed a moderate trail on Round Bluff Nature Preserve.

RoundBluffTrail