Oakwood Bottoms & Turkey Bayou Campground


Area Status: Temporarily Closed

Oakwood Bottoms Day Use

A favorite with waterfowl hunters, Oakwood Bottoms offers so much more from excellent bird watching to fishing opportunities and primitive camping at Turkey Bayou Campground.  Picnic with your family or youth group at Oakwood Bottoms picnic site and take a short walk into the bottoms on the wooden boardwalk trail that loops back to the picnic area. The site also has a large picnic shelter next to a large pond, where you can enjoy watching ducks and other birds visit the pond in search of food. 

Big Muddy Boat Launch also offers one of the few locations to launch your boat or kayak onto the Big Muddy River. 

Visit our Oakwood Bottoms Hunting Page for hunting regulations, current flood compartment map and the Designated Waterfowl Refuge restrictions. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: As of July 9, 2024 - Temporarily Closed due to flood waters. The access road is flooded before reaching the Big Muddy Boat Launch and Turkey Bayou Campground. Do not drive through flood waters. Alternative camping can be found at Pine Hills Campground,11 miles south of Turkey Bayou.
Operational Hours:  Open year-round
Reservations: Campground is first come-first served. No reservations.
Area Amenities: Accessible, Boat ramp, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Picnic tables, Toilets, Parking
Fees: Turkey Bayou is a no-fee campground. Donationas are accepted by Friends of Turkey Bayou, who help maintain the campground and support the annual fishing derby. Hunting licenses & fees follow Illinois State law.  For more information and to obtain hunting licenses, tags, waterfowl stamps, etc. visit Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources website .
Permit Info: Hunting licenses & fees follow Illinois State law.  For more information and to obtain hunting licenses, tags, waterfowl stamps, etc. visit Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources website .
Restrictions: Big Muddy boat launch and Turkey Bayou campground are temporarily closed due to flooding. Designated Waterfowl Refuge Area Closed 14 days prior to start of waterfowl hunting season (Illinois' southern central zone) to the end of waterfowl hunting season. No walking access or hunting is permitted during the closure period in the designated waterfowl refuge.
Closest Towns: Gorham, IL 62940
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet
Information Center: Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District (618) 833-8576

General Information

Directions:

To Oakwood Bottoms Picnic Area:
From Murphysboro:  Take Highway 149 west 7 miles to Highway 3; then south 5.5 miles on Hwy 3 to Oakwood Bottoms Road. Turn east (left) onto Oakwood Bottoms Rd. and continue 1 mile to Oakwood Bottoms. 

From Jonesboro: Take Highway 146 west 8 miles to Highway 3, then north 8 miles on Hwy 3 to John Spur Road. Turn east (right) onto Oakwood Bottoms and continue 1 mile to Oakwood Bottoms.

To Turkey Bayou Campground:

From Murphysboro:  Take Highway 149 west 7 miles to Highway 3; then south 5.5 miles on Hwy 3 to Oakwood Bottoms Road. Turn east (left) onto Oakwood Bottoms Rd. and continue 4 miles to the campground. 

From Jonesboro: Take Highway 146 west 8 miles to Highway 3, then north 8 miles on Hwy 3 to Oakwood Bottoms Road. Turn east (right) onto Oakwood Bottoms Rd. and continue 4 miles to the campground.

To Big Muddy Boat Launch:

From Murphysboro:  Take Highway 149 west 7 miles to Highway 3; then south 5.5 miles on Hwy 3 to Oakwood Bottoms Road. Turn east (left) onto Oakwood Bottoms Rd. and go 3.5 miles, boat launch is straight ahead at curve. 

From Jonesboro: Take Highway 146 west 8 miles to Highway 3, then north 8 miles on Hwy 3 to Oakwood Bottoms Road. Turn east (right) onto Oakwood Bottoms Rd. and go 3.5 miles, boat launch is straight ahead at curve.


General Notes:

Turkey Bayou Campground​

Located in Oakwood Bottoms, Turkey Bayou Campground is a great location outdoor activities including waterfowl hunting, deer hunting, trapping, fishing, nature watching and bird watching.  The campground is next to a 20-acre lake on the Big Muddy River with close proximity to the Big Muddy boat launch and the Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir. There is no charge for camping at Turkey Bayou, but there is a 14-day maximum stay. The campground does not have water. The site frequently floods during heavy rain periods.

Our partner, Friends of Turkey Bayou maintain Turkey Bayou Campground.  

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 Restriction on Turkey Bayou Lake is electric only.


Parking:

Do not block roads; do not park where you would cause resource damage.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Dispersed Camping

Lake and Pond Fishing

River and Stream Fishing

Day Hiking

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy

Big Game Hunting

Small Game Hunting

Game Bird/Waterfowl

Trapping

Viewing Wildlife

Picnicking

Group Picnicking

Boating - Non-Motorized

Amenities

Camping trailer: Turkey Bayou Campground
Picnic tables: picnic shelter
Tent camping: Turkey Bayou Campground
Accessible: picnic shelter and fishing piers
Boat ramp: Big Muddy Boat Launch

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
37.674433

  Longitude : 
-89.462354