Base your next Illinois motorhome camping trip near Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Marion, and you'll be in the midst of relaxing wilderness vibes with access to lots of outdoor recreational opportunities. The refuge's terrain features broad tree lines and lakes, with cropland, oak-hickory forests, and even waterfalls found throughout.
When you book an RV in Williamson County, you can start your adventure at Crab Orchard for prime bird and wildlife observation; keep your eyes peeled for bobcats, bald eagles, and the many resident aquatic creatures. Expand your area explorations with a visit to nearby Shawnee National Forest near Vienna or the sprawling Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area near Grand Rivers, Kentucky. If you are looking for more civilized fun, you can make your way to St. Louis to the west, Springfield to the north, or Evansville, Indiana, to the east.
When you rent an RV near Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, you'll find a wealth of excellent options for enjoying the beauty of Illinois. Whether you are on a driving tour searching for bobcats from the safety of your RV rental or keeping your eyes to the skies to possibly spot a bald eagle surveying the land, you’re sure to see something unique.
Visitors can occupy themselves in a variety of ways; hunters can scope out big game, furbearers, and spot upland, waterfowl, and migratory birds across 40,000 acres of wilderness. If you are looking to enjoy nature in a more tranquil way, you can also settle in for some wildlife viewing or get involved with on-site interpretive programs, environmental education, and photography tours.
Along the nine-mile auto tour route, you can start from the visitor center and spot grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands, with observation blinds offering scenic views. Fishing is another favorite pastime at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, with human-made reservoirs and small ponds providing opportunities to catch catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, and other varieties of fish. Other creatures you might spot over the course of your stay include wild turkey, hawks, owls, ducks, and an array of migratory birds.
Camping at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Camping at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is easy, with four campgrounds for visitors to choose from. Crab Orchard Lake Campground offers sites with full hookups, partial hookups, or no hookups at all. When you camp at Crab Orchard Campground, you'll also have access to a swimming beach. Pets are allowed within the grounds provided they're kept on a leash.
The Marion Campground and RV Park is just a ten-minute drive from the refuge and is a good alternative to staying within the wildlife area. The campsites at Marion Campground have full hookups, and some offer pull-through access. TV and WiFi are available on-site. Pets are welcome here, and there's a playground for the kids. Guests can also take advantage of the campground's laundry facilities and showers.
Exploring the Area
For some big-city sights, you can aim the Marion motorhome rental toward St. Louis, packed with historical and cultural sites and tons of excellent restaurants. Sticking closer to the campground at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, you can visit one of the local wineries to sample some regional flavors. If you are looking for beauty beyond nature, you could try a trip over to Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon. You can see lots of amazing works, ranging from sculptures in the park to paintings and galleries. The gallery cycles new exhibits regularly to keep visits varied.
If you have kids along for the Marion camper rental ride, consider a visit to the Children’s Museum of Evansville. One of the largest museums in the area, this family-friendly place offers many different interactive exhibits that should be good for all ages. With seasonal traveling exhibits, creative learning stations like the Artmaker Studio, the Quack Factory, and the 20-foot duck that also doubles as a play structure, there’s plenty to do.
For a completely different atmosphere, the Evansville Wartime Museum has a lot to see. There you can find memorabilia, exhibits, and artifacts from World War II and other historical wars.
When you rent a motorhome near Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, you'll be in a position to explore the natural and scenic terrain of southern Illinois. Dabble in some city culture, learn about the region's history, and kick back and relax in the comfort of your campsite near Marion.