Friends of Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge


Located west of Marion, Illinois, on the northern edge of the Ozark foothills, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest refuges in the Great Lakes/Big Rivers Region. Established in 1947, the 43,890-acre Refuge includes three man-made lakes totaling 8,700 surface acres. The Refuge landscape also includes hardwood and pine forests, croplands, grasslands, wetlands, rolling hills, and rugged terrain with slopes of 24 percent. The 4,050-acre Crab Orchard Wilderness, the first wilderness area designated in the State of Illinois, is within the Refuge Crab Orchard Refuge is unique in the National Wildlife Refuge System in having an industrial program that the Refuge hosts an estimated 1.2 million visitors annually, and its recreation programs contribute $25 million to the local tourism economy. Public use opportunities at the Refuge include an auto tour route, hiking trails, hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation, boating, swimming, camping, and picnicking

Crab Orchard NWR Bald Eagle Tours

Dec 15, 2015

Join us for the Crab Orchard NWR Bald Eagle tours the last two weekends in January.

Read More

The Crab Orchard WILDLIFE AND WILD PLACES PHOTO CONTEST is now ACCEPTING ENTRIES at the Refuge Visitor's Center.

Sep 5, 2015

The Crab Orchard WILDLIFE AND WILD PLACES PHOTO CONTEST is now ACCEPTING ENTRIES at the Refuge Visitor's Center. Entry deadline is October 12th. An awards ceremony will be held November 1st with cash prizes and gift certificates for Best in Show and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category.

Read More


8588 Route 148
Marion, IL 62959
618-998-5933

Carbondale, IL
Last Updated on February 9, 5:28 AM CST
21.3 °
Feels Like: 16 °