Ferne Clyffe State Park
About Ferne Clyffe State Park:
Top Rope, Trad, and Bouldering
Ferne Clyffe State Park is part of an easily accessed and close-to-each-other triumvirate of climbing destinations in southern Illinois, along with Draper's Bluff, and Cedar Bluff. It's also only about 20 minutes from Jackson Falls.
Routes go about 50-60 feet in height, and range in difficulty from 5.2 to 5.12a. Trad cracks are obvious. Anchors for TRs can be made from slings around trees at the top of the bluff. Access to the top can be gained at either end (right or left as you face it), where the bluffline tapers down to the ground. Be aware that there is private property up on top, so keep the roudy stuff for down on ground level.
Climbing and bouldering is restricted to only one bluff (cliff) and the boulders directly adjacent. Other bluffs are closed to protect endangered flora. Please respect these restrictions so as not risk closure for all climbing. New bolting in park managed property (Ferne Clyffe and Cedar Bluff) is prohibited; there should be NO bolts in Ferne Clyffe at all.
Rogue bolters will be drawn and quartered by the Illinois Climbers Association!
As with State Parks, there is camping for a fee, either in the tent-only areas (about $6 per person), or in the RV section (about $8 per person). There are also hike-in-only spots ($ unknown). Outhouses are around the camping and picnic areas, and there is a nice shower house up in the RV area, with running water through the Fall (no charge). Some climbers camp here and then drive to the other nearby southern Illinois climbing areas, because of Dad's Pizza in Goreville, and the amenities of the park. The drunken rowdy locals and college kids are worse here, though, than at Jackson Falls.
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|Nearest town or city:||Goreville/Marion|
From the south on Interstate 24: north to Tunnel Hill Road; west (left) to Rte. 37; south (left), a short distance on Rte. 37 to Ferne Clyffe State Park entrance.
From the south on Interstate 57: go north to the Goreville exit (#40), east (right), to Goreville and Rte. 37; south (right), about a mile, to the Park entrance.
From the north: get to Interstate 57, go south to the Goreville exit (#40); east (left), to Goreville and Rte. 37; south (right), about a mile, to the Park entrance.
Ferne Clyffe, Cedar Bluff, and Draper's Bluff are all easy to access from each other via Lick Creek Road and Rte. 37, connecting a bit south of the park entrance at Buncombe. The bluffs are west of 37, on Lick Creek Road.
Jackson Falls is about 20 minutes away, following Tunnel Hill Road (north on Rte. 37 a short distance from the Park entrance, then east on Tunnel Hill Road) to Hwy 45, left to Ozark Road, etc.
|When to Climb:||Update|
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