Pope County Recreation Area Reopens After Decade of Closure

Pope County Recreation Area Reopens After Decade of Closure

HARRISBURG – A new year means new beginnings for the Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area, according to State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).

After being closed for almost a decade, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area in Pope County will be reopen for camping in spring 2021. In the meantime, Rauchfuss will open to visitors for picnicking and hiking.

“This is great news for the community, providing another recreational option for visitors and campers,” said Sen. Fowler. “Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area has been underutilized and neglected for years. It’s past time that we put the time and resources into this local Southern Illinois treasure.”

Over the past year, efforts have been underway to prepare the campground for visitors, including clearing out brush and removing overgrown vegetation. Other improvements included hiring additional staff, putting in new picnic tables and rocking over the roadway.

Currently, there are 15 tent sites and 15 camper sites anticipated to be available to campers in the new year with plans for future expansion of additional sites in the following months.

The campground was original closed in 2013 due to lack of funding and a staffing shortage.