lake murphysboro state park

Lake Murphysboro State Park: Explore Illinois

Located in Jackson County, Illinois, just west of Murphysboro, Lake Murphysboro State Park offers a picturesque natural landscape spanning over 1,022 acres. With its rolling hills, lush woods, and the captivating Lake Murphysboro at its center, this state park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a fan of boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, or hiking, Lake Murphysboro State Park has something to offer. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while engaging in your favorite outdoor activities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lake Murphysboro State Park is a 1,022-acre state park in Jackson County, Illinois.
  • The park features rolling hills, woods, and the stunning Lake Murphysboro.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and hiking.
  • The park offers a range of services and facilities, including shelter houses and handicapped-accessible toilets.
  • Explore the nearby towns of Carbondale and Murphysboro, as well as other parks and trails in the area.

Park Highlights and Activities

Lake Murphysboro State Park offers a range of outdoor activities in the picturesque town of Murphysboro, Illinois. Whether you’re a camping enthusiast, hiking lover, fishing aficionado, or simply enjoy picnicking amidst nature, this state park has something for everyone.


If you’re looking to spend a night under the stars, Lake Murphysboro State Park offers well-equipped campsites for both tents and trailers. The camping area provides amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to clean restroom facilities. It’s the perfect opportunity to unwind and connect with nature.

Hiking Trails

For those seeking adventure, Lake Murphysboro State Park boasts a network of hiking trails that meander through its diverse landscape. From leisurely strolls to more challenging treks, these trails cater to hikers of all levels. One notable trail is the 2-mile loop that immerses visitors in the park’s natural beauty, showcasing its rich plant, animal, and bird life.

Fishing and Boating

With its star-shaped lake, Lake Murphysboro State Park is a haven for fishing and boating enthusiasts. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, enticing anglers to cast their lines in pursuit of their next catch. Boating is also popular, providing a serene way to explore the lake and take in the surrounding scenery.

Picnic Areas

For a relaxing day out, the park features shaded picnic areas equipped with tables, benches, and grills. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a delicious meal with loved ones while surrounded by the beauty of nature. Pack a picnic basket and make lasting memories in this tranquil oasis.

Wildlife Spotting

Lake Murphysboro State Park offers ample opportunities for wildlife spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for various species of birds, mammals, and reptiles as you explore the park’s trails and waterfront areas. Capture the beauty of these creatures in their natural habitat through photography or simply enjoy observing them in their element.

Exploring the Area and Nearby Parks

exploring the area

When visiting Lake Murphysboro State Park, take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area, which offers a range of attractions and nearby parks. Located near the towns of Carbondale and Murphysboro, visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture, indulge in delicious cuisine, and discover the rich history of the region.

For nature enthusiasts looking to extend their outdoor adventures, there are several nearby parks and trails worth exploring. Just a short drive from Lake Murphysboro State Park, you’ll find Giant City State Park, known for its stunning rock formations and scenic hiking trails. Shawnee National Forest is also nearby, offering a vast expanse of wilderness with opportunities for camping, hiking, and wildlife spotting.

One of the highlights in the area is the Southern Illinois Wine Trail, where you can indulge in wine tastings and explore the picturesque vineyards. Additionally, the Cache River Wetlands, a designated National Natural Landmark, is a must-visit for its unique ecosystem and diverse wildlife.

Table: Nearby Parks and Trails

Park/Trail Distance from Lake Murphysboro State Park Activities
Giant City State Park Approximately 20 miles Hiking, camping, rock climbing
Shawnee National Forest Approximately 30 miles Hiking, camping, wildlife spotting
Southern Illinois Wine Trail Various vineyards within 20-30 miles Wine tastings, vineyard tours
Cache River Wetlands Approximately 40 miles Canoeing, birdwatching, nature trails

Exploring the area surrounding Lake Murphysboro State Park allows visitors to make the most of their outdoor getaway. Whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, wildlife spotting, or indulging in local wine, the nearby parks and attractions offer something for everyone.

Services and Facilities

services and facilities

When visiting Lake Murphysboro State Park, visitors can take advantage of a range of services and facilities to enhance their experience. The park offers shelter houses equipped with drinking water and playground equipment, making it ideal for larger groups and families with children. Additionally, handicapped-accessible toilets are conveniently located throughout the park, ensuring accessibility for all visitors.

For those interested in the park’s rich history, there are interpretive signage and information available to explore. These resources provide insights into the park’s past and offer a deeper understanding of the natural and cultural significance of Lake Murphysboro State Park.

Overall, Lake Murphysboro State Park aims to provide a comfortable and informative experience for all visitors. Whether you’re looking to enjoy outdoor activities, learn about the park’s history, or simply relax and appreciate the beauty of nature, the services and facilities at Lake Murphysboro State Park are designed to meet your needs.

Table: Park Facilities

Facility Description
Shelter Houses Equipped with drinking water and playground equipment, perfect for larger groups and families.
Handicapped-Accessible Toilets Located throughout the park to ensure accessibility for all visitors.
Interpretive Signage Provides insights into the park’s rich history and cultural significance.

Planning Your Visit

When planning your visit to Lake Murphysboro State Park, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, remember to keep your pets on leashes at all times to ensure the safety of both your furry friends and other visitors. Additionally, if you’re planning to visit with a group of 25 or more people, make sure to register in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

As for accommodations, the park offers various options to meet your needs. Whether you prefer the simplicity of tent camping or the convenience of trailer sites with electricity, Lake Murphysboro State Park has you covered. Reservations can be easily made through ExploreMoreIL™, allowing you to secure your spot ahead of time and avoid any disappointment.

Before embarking on your trip, it’s always a good idea to check for any park closures or alerts that may affect your visit. This way, you can plan alternative routes or activities to make the most of your time at the park. For further information and resources, be sure to visit the park’s official website or reach out to the park office. They will be more than happy to assist you with any inquiries or provide additional guidance to ensure a memorable experience in the great outdoors.


Can I camp at Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Yes, the park offers well-equipped campsites for both tents and trailers.

Are there hiking trails at Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Yes, there are designated hiking trails, including a 2-mile trail that allows visitors to explore the park’s diverse plant, animal, and bird life.

Can I go fishing and boating at Lake Murphysboro?

Absolutely! Fishing and boating are popular activities on Lake Murphysboro, with a variety of fish species available for anglers.

Are there picnic areas at Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Yes, the park features shaded picnic areas, perfect for enjoying a day outdoors.

Is wildlife spotting possible at Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Yes, wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity for wildlife spotting in the park.

Can I explore nearby towns while visiting Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Yes, the park is conveniently located near Carbondale and Murphysboro, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore these nearby towns.

Are there any services and facilities available at Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Yes, the park offers shelter houses for larger groups, equipped with drinking water and playground equipment. Handicapped-accessible toilets are located throughout the park, including at the camping areas.

Does Lake Murphysboro State Park have a rich history?

Yes, the park has a rich history, which can be explored through interpretive signage and information provided at the park.

Can I bring my pet to Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Yes, pets are allowed at the park but must be kept on leashes at all times.

How can I make reservations for camping at Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Reservations can be made through ExploreMoreIL™.

Where can I find further information and resources about Lake Murphysboro State Park?

Further information and resources can be found on the park’s website or by contacting the park office.

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