Clear Springs Wilderness

Area Status: Open

Located on the west side of the Shawnee National Forest, Clear Springs Wilderness is one of the largest designated wildernesses in Illinois.  With elevations ranging from 400 feet to over 900 feet, the Wilderness is generally regarded as having rough and steep terrain, with narrow ridgetops, steep slopes and scenic creeks along the valleys. Trails for hiking and equestrians lead through areas where visitors can see evidence of old homesteads before it was part of the Shawnee National Forest, such as old stone foundations from homes, fruit trees, abandoned roads, and old family cemeteries.

Clear Springs Wildernsess lies adjacent to Bald Knob Wilderness to the south and LaRue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond Research Natural  Area to the west and pristine waters of Hutchins Creek running through it.

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Tent camping, Parking

General Information

General Notes:

Size and History:

Clear Springs Wilderness was designated as a wilderness area by the Illinois Wilderness Act of 1990 (PL101-633)

4730 Total Acres.


Parking, Trail Heads and Directions: 

Parking and Trail heads are availabe along Forest Road 236 (Pine Hills Road): US Hwy. 3 to Wolf Lake, IL, then East along State Forest Road to Forest Road 236. Then North.
State Hwy. 127 to State Forest Road. West to Forest Road 236. Then North.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Dispersed Camping

River and Stream Fishing

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Big Game Hunting

Small Game Hunting

Viewing Scenery


Parking: Overnight parking allowed at trailheads

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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