You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.

Illinois State Parks

USA Parks
Central Region
Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Management Area
Cardinal ©
Oh Yell ©
10981 Conservation Road
Baldwin, Illinois   62217

Phone: 618-785-2555
The Kaskaskia River State Fish & Wildlife Area (KRFWA) is one of the largest state-owned and managed sites in Illinois. Located 35 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, the area comprises more than 20,000 acres and extends along the Kaskaskia River from Fayetteville to the Mississippi River in St. Clair, Monroe, and Randolph counties. The Illinois Department of Transportation owns the land along the river and leases most of the land to the Department of Natural Resources to manage for fish, wildlife, and other recreational activities. There are a few areas which are managed by the Kaskaskia River Port District for industrial use and are unavailable for public use.

Baldwin Lake, a 2,018-acre reservoir built by Illinois Power Company, is contained within KRFWA. This lake serves as a source of cooling water in operating a nearby electric generating station. Baldwin Lake is open to the public for fishing and is a major part of the area?s waterfowl refuge.
Nature of the Area
KRFWA possesses a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Water acres include not only the Kaskaskia River with its associated side channel and backwater areas (2,200 acres), but also Baldwin Lake (2,018 acres) and Peabody-River King State Fish and Wildlife Area (2,200 acres).

A land area of about 16,000 acres includes an extensive mixed bottomland forest comprised of pecan, soft maple, bur oak, pin oak, shellbark hickory, and willow. Many cultivated and fallow fields, native grass patches, brushy areas, and other "open" areas are interspersed with the stands of mature bottomland timber. Due to this great diversity of habitats, there exists good wildlife populations on the site.
History of the Area
Southwestern Illinois, which includes KRFWA, has traditionally been rich in fish and wildlife resources. This is evident by its occupation by both American Indians and early settlers to the state. The Kaskaskia River remained essentially unchanged until the late 1960s when it was modified by channelization to promote commercial development and navigation. This led to eventual state ownership of the site and increased the public use of the area.
Concrete launch ramps are provided on the Kaskaskia River at Fayetteville, New Athens, on Highway 154 west of Baldwin, and at Evansville. "No-wake" zones exist near the ramps and industrial sites. Also, all of the oxbows have been designated as "no-wake" zones and boaters must operate their watercraft accordingly in these areas.

Weekends and holidays throughout the summer receive the most boat usage and boaters are urged to be extra safety conscious during this time. Boaters should also be aware of barge traffic on the river and at lock and dam site at the mouth of the river.

A 12-mile trail system exists on the site and is used by hunters, hikers, bird watchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. These trails are closed to vehicular traffic. Please contact the site superintendent for a brochure showing these trails.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Robin Hood Woods Campground
RR 4 Box 16A
Shelbyville, IL
Nearby Hotels

To reach the Site Headquarters from the south one would access State Hwy. 154 and go to the town of Baldwin. In Baldwin turn north on 5th Street and travel 4 miles, passing the Illinois Power generating facility. At the intersection of 5th Street and Risdon School Road, turn west (left) and travel one mile to the park entrance gate. Turn left at the gate and follow the black top road to the site office sign. The site office is 1/4 mile south of this sign.

To reach the Site Headquarters from the north one would access State Hwy. 13 and travel toward the village of New Athens. While on Hwy. 13 look for the "Baldwin Lake" Highway sign and turn south. Travel this blacktop road for 5 miles to the intersection of Risdon School Road and turn west (right). Travel one mile to the park entrance gate. Turn left at the gate and follow the black top road to the site office sign. The site office is 1/4 mile south of this sign.


Illinois State Parks