Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area reopening
A new year means new beginnings for the Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area near Golconda.
State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, said that after being closed for almost a decade, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced that the Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area will be reopening for camping in spring of 2021.
In the meantime, beginning on Dec. 29, Rauchfuss was scheduled to be open to visitors for picnicking and hiking.
“This is great news for the community, providing another recreational option for visitors and campers,” Fowler said in a news release.
“Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area has been under-utilized 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 include hiring additional staff, putting in new picnic tables and rocking over the roadway.
Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation borders Lusk Creek and is situated just north of Golconda.
Fowler said 15 tent sites and 15 camper sites are 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 originally closed in 2013 due to lack of funding and a staffing shortage.