Elevation: 574 ft
GPS: 37.534, -88.983 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 25,908 total · 317/month
Shared By: Dave Hug on Feb 1, 2015 · Updates
Admins: Aaron Mc, Dave Hug

Description

Ferne Clyffe State Park is located a short drive from Interstate 57, about 1 mile south of Goreville Illinois. The park has seen technical climbing since the 1960's. Throughout its climbing history, routes have been established park wide. However, since the mid 1980's, park officials have changed their management plans. While this has greatly limited the amount of legal climbing, what still remains is comprised of some of the finest stone the park has to offer.

Most of the climbing that is available is primarily top roped. Fern also offers a small portion of quality traditional leads that are well protected. It is important to note that park management does not allow fixed anchors. When building anchors the standard is to establish them off strong/live trees on top, although many roots are exposed. Regardless, the available climbing found at Fern Cylffe will not disappoint. Enjoy the solitude of a sparsely populated crag and have fun pulling it's quality sandstone. This area should be a must for anyone passing through on the interstate and is curious about the climbing in Illinois.

Getting There

Ferne Clyffe State Park can be reached from I-57 and I-24. The park is well signed from both interstate highways. 

  • If traveling on I-57, take Goreville exit #40.  Head east 5 miles to IL Rt. 37.  Turn right (south) on Rt. 37.  Park entrance is 1 mile south of Goreville. 
  • If traveling on I-24, take Goreville exit #7.  Head west 2 miles to IL Rt. 37.  Turn left (south) on Rt. 37.  Park entrance is ½ mile.

From the park entrance, drive 0.5 miles to the stop sign and turn left.  From the stop sign, drive 0.8 miles to the fork by the lake and turn right.  From the fork, follow the road for 1.7 miles to the parking area before the turn around loop.  

On the North side of the parking area (opposite the bathrooms), cross the creek at the round stepping stones.  Once across the creek, follow the first trail on the right marked as Rebman Trail.  Stay to the right, the bluff is about 100 ft down the trail where there is sign designated for climbing.  As a point of reference: Facing the bluffs near the sign, head to the right to find Hawk's Beak.

Guidebook

Currently, Fern Clyffe State Park has two guidebooks available for purchase to guide your climbing experience. The first being Eric Ulner's book Vertical Heartland which accurately shows routes and their descriptions. The second guide for Fern is Matt Bliss's book Sandstone Warrior. In Matt's guide he covers all the great bouldering that the park has to offer along with beautifully pictured pages. Both guides can be picked up at Shawnee Trails in Carbondale Illinois.

34 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ferne Clyffe S.P.

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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