Big River State Forest is a beautiful natural area located in Henderson County, Illinois. Established in 1925, it covers over 2,900 acres of land and offers a wide range of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The forest is situated along the banks of the Mississippi River, providing stunning views and opportunities for outdoor exploration.
There are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained at Big River State Forest. Here are some of the highlights:
Hiking and Nature Trails
The forest has several miles of hiking trails that wind through its diverse landscapes. These trails offer opportunities to observe wildlife, explore different ecosystems, and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.
Big River State Forest has a campground with both primitive and electric sites available. The campground provides amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and restroom facilities. It's a great place to spend a night under the stars.
The Mississippi River is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, and Big River State Forest is no exception. Anglers can try their luck at catching catfish, bass, crappie, and more.
The forest allows hunting during designated seasons. Popular game species include deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, and waterfowl. Hunters must adhere to state regulations and obtain the necessary permits.
Big River State Forest is home to a variety of wildlife species. Visitors may spot white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, and numerous bird species while exploring the forest.
In addition to its diverse wildlife population, Big River State Forest boasts several natural features worth exploring. These include the Mississippi River, which offers breathtaking views and opportunities for boating and kayaking, as well as wetlands, forests, and prairies.
Here are some important details to know before visiting Big River State Forest:
The forest is located in Henderson County, Illinois. The main entrance is off Highway 34, approximately 10 miles south of Oquawka.
The forest is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.
Big River State Forest offers picnic areas with tables and grills, a playground for children, and restroom facilities. There are also equestrian trails available for horseback riding enthusiasts.