1. Bork’s Falls
Ferne Clyffe State Park – One of the Giant’s of Southern Illinois, Bork’s Falls is, also, one of the last to stop flowing after a large rain. What confuses most people is that it is not located in main section of Ferne Clyffe. The park consists of two sections that are not connected. Bork’s is located on the “wild” section of the park, that was acquired at a later time.
The “wild” section requires caution and can be dangerous, for several reasons. The first is the road to reach the falls is gravel and descends steeply down to where the road crosses upstream from the brink of the falls. Also, since the area consists of sandstone bluffs, rocks, and ledges many exposed areas are coated with ice, making the risk of falling high.
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2. Rocky Bluff Falls
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge – This is one fall that may be easier to see frozen than flowing at full force after a spring downpour. The drainage area is small, but since icefall building requires cold, slow, trickling water there is a good chance to view a two-tier curtain of ice.
Rocky Bluff Falls is located near the spillway of Devil’s Kitchen Lake. Out of the three icefalls, this one requires the least amount of effort to see. One can park at the Rocky Bluff Trailhead and walk several yards to the brink of the falls. Since it is located on refuge land it does require a pass to visit.
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3. Ferne Clyffe Falls
Ferne Clyffe State Park – Taking the crown of “Most Visited Waterfall in Southern Illinois”, most people come to visit in spring, summer, and fall. A level trail parallels a scenic creek , which leads to a canyon that ends with a beautiful two-tier waterfall.
In winter, though, it may become harder to visit. If the road going down to the main section of the park is covered with snow, the gates will be locked. This means to see the falls you must make a long trek or you can wait until the snow begins to melt and see the remnants of this giant icefall.
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A Word of Caution:
If you choose to explore these frozen waterfalls, please keep in mind that most of the trails are snow and ice-covered. This requires extra caution and traction. Appropriate clothing is required to visit the Shawnee Hills on a cold day. No Cotton and Bundle in Layers. We in no way encourage or recommend individuals to visit these falls in extreme conditions. Visit at your own risk.
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