Johnson Creek Recreation Area
Located on a northwest finger of beautiful Kinkaid Lake, Johnson Creek Recreation Area offers a variety of outdoor activities. Here you will find something for everyone in the family, from camping and kayaking to hiking along the lake, biking the scenic roads and horseback riding.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||June 29, 2023, Water for the Entire Johnson Creek Recreation Area is temporarily unavailable. It is recommended that you bring your own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.|
|Operational Hours:||Campground open from 3/15 - 12/15
Boat Launch & picnic area - Open year-round.
|Reservations:||Campground is first come-first served. No reservations.|
|Area Amenities:||Accessible, Boat ramp, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking|
|Fees:||Single Campsite - $10/night - 8 people & 2 vehicle max
Double Campsite - $12/night
Triple Campsite - $15/night There are 20 Campsites
|Closest Towns:||Ava, IL 62907|
|Water:||June 29, 2023, Water for the Entire Johnson Creek Recreation Area is temporarily unavailable.|
|Information Center:||Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District (618) 833-8576|
From Murphysboro: Take Highway 149 west 7 miles to Highway 3; then north 4.5 miles on Highway 3 to Highway 151. Turn right onto Highway 151 and go 4 miles to recreation area.
From St. Louis: Take either Highway 3 or Highway 4 south to Chester, IL. Then south 18 miles on Highway 3; turn left onto Highway 151 and go 4 miles to recreation area.
Johnson Creek Campground featuring large campsites, hitching posts and highline poles, it is one of the few Forest Service campgrounds that allows equestrians and their stock. Double and triple campsites accommodate larger groups. Equestrian trails lead from the campground and link to the extensive Kinkaid Lake trail system. Sorry there are no boat rentals at Johnson Creek.
Boat Launch: Recommended for small water craft, such as canoes, kayaks or small boat with motor. It is located in the large parking lot on the left upon entering the recreation area.
Water Activities: One of the larger lakes (2750 acres) in southern Illinois, Kinkaid Lake is popular for fishing, swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, boating, canoeing, kayaking and waterfowl hunting.
Fishing Regulations: Lg./Smallmouth bass -16” min. Daily limit=3
Pure Muskellunge – 48” minimum length
White/Black or Hybrid Crappie – 9: min. Daily limit=25
For site specific regulations or to obtain a fishing license go to Illinois fishing regulations.
Watercraft Motor Restrictions: None.
Trailhead parking lot accommodates horse trailers. Overnight parking allowed at trailhead and boat launch area.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Lake and Pond Fishing
Boating - Motorized
Boating - Non-Motorized
|Picnic tables:||picnic shelter|
|Accessible:||campground & vault toilets|
|Boat ramp:||suitable for small watercrafts|
|Drinking water:||June 29, 2023, Water for the Entire Johnson Creek Recreation Area is temporarily unavailable. It is recommended that you bring your own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.|