Glen O Jones Lake

Visitor Guide


Hiking with Shawn

Glen O Jones Lake is an Illinois state-managed fish and wildlife area.

Other than fishing and hunting opportunities, there are numerous other recreational activities, too.

You can kayak the lake.

There is a bicycling trail.

There are historical sightseeing locations.

There are also hiking trails in and around the area.

Glen O Jones Lake offers low-cost primitive camping opportunities, too.

Enjoy this updated and free guide so you can enjoy Glen O today!


Glen O Jones Lake Directions and Travel Information

Getting to Glen O Jones Lake is relatively easy.

Check out this Google Maps page for directions to the lake from Interstate 57 in Marion, Illinois.

The drive to Glen O Jones consists entirely of paved roads. Any vehicle can make it to this lake. However, many roads leading to this area may not get treated as widely as other roads during wintry precipitation and conditions.

Hathaway’s One Stop is the last gas station in the area before you make it to the lake. They have a seasonal nursey attached that is worth checking out as well. There are other fueling and shopping destinations in Harrisburg.


Glen O Jones Lake Recreational Activities

There are tons of user activities to enjoy at Glen O Jones Lake.

Boaters, kayakers, canoers, and Stand Up Paddlers can enjoy a ramp access point to a 105-acre lake. The lake. The lake has a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie, and channel catfish. There is a 10 H.P. Motor Limit for boats.

Fishing can also be done on the two docks and multiple piers available on the lake. Anyone fishing must have a valid Illinois Fishing License with them.

Four designated hiking trails within the recreation area include Lake, Cave Hill, River, and Wildlife Nature Trail, which offer about 9 miles of hiking. The trails past the Tecumseh Statue go into the Shawnee National Forest and offer hundreds of miles of hiking and equestrian trails. There is a trail that takes you from Glen O Jones Lake to Old Stoneface called Crest Trail – it can be hard to follow and very rugged during the summer months.

A 5-mile bicycling path (non-rail trail) starting at the entrance of Glen O Jones will take you almost to Equality. Cyclists use a combination of primarily paved bicycle paths and some roadways (some sections may be gravel). Please share the road with vehicles driving on them. Cycling to Equality at the end of the bike trail doesn’t take too long, but you will have to share the road with motor vehicles.

There are two different types of campgrounds available at the lake. There is an equestrian campground on the very north side of the area. There are tent and trailer camping sites located on the lake and the upper road from the lake. There is a dumping station present, water sources, but no electricity. Please obtain a camping permit from the site host. Camping fees vary, starting at $6.00 per person and up. Camping sites have grills, picnic tables, and areas to park your vehicles. The campsites on the lake have good spots to park your boats, kayaks, or canoes to launch from your site.

Hunting activities are allowed at Glen O Jones Lake during authorized hunting seasons. Please see the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for more hunting information.

Several sightseeing opportunities exist in and around this area, including ghost towns on the bike trail, the Tecumseh Statue, an old cemetery in the park, and Horseshoe.

There are also various picnicking spots available in the recreation area.

The roads within Glen O Jones are great for road biking (very hilly), and Eagle Creek Road south of the lake is great for gravel bike riding (very hilly), especially if you want to loop it with Eagle Mountain Road (also very hilly).

There are also many different and diverse nature viewing spots around the lake and an area for pollinators, wildflowers, and birding.

There are multiple vault toilet restrooms and two restrooms with running water (by site host).


Glen O Jones Lake Rules and Safety Information

There is a 10 H.P. Motor Limit for boats on the lake.

The campground is a fee-based area. Pay the site host to obtain a camping permit.

At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.

Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.

Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities.

For emergencies – call 911. Phone signals may not exist within this area.

Venomous snakes, including copperhead and timber rattlesnake, occur in the surrounding Shawnee National Forest. Please practice hiking safety precautions at all times.


Lodging, Dining, and Shopping Around Glen O Jones Lake

There are numerous hiking trails close to Glen O Jones Lake, including Stoneface, Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock, and the Tunnel Hill State Trail for bicycling.

Camping can be done at the lake for a fee. You can also camp nearby at Pounds Hollow Recreation Area. For cabins near Glen O Jones, there are Shawnee Forest Cabins, Timber Ridge Treehouse Cabins, and Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins (very pet friendly).

Mitchellsville and Harbison’s Store offer delicious quick food options for dining options. We especially love their breakfast options. The Red Onion is Equality and is famous for its steaks. Mackie’s Pizza in Harrisburg is some of the best pizza around. There are also plenty more dining options in Harrisburg to choose from.

For other sightseeing opportunities in this area, visit the Saline County Tourism Board.

Be sure to check out the Southern Illinois Hiking & Outdoor Recreation Group on Facebook for more information about this and other areas.

If you want a custom itinerary, I provide this service for a small fee. I also offer private guided hiking tours in this area for a fee. I am insured, and I have a permit to guide hiking trips.


Glen O Jones Lake is a great place to visit for camping and recreation in southern Illinois. We especially enjoyed the bike trail, hiking Crest Trail, and camping; the lake is one of our favorite kayaking spots. I hope you have found this guide helpful in helping you find the best spots to recreate in the Shawnee National Forest and southern Illinois.

Watch the videos for this trail!

Below is a recent video that we filmed while enjoying this area.

Check out the trail gallery!

Enjoy these photos taken around this area!

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Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!

Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. I hope you enjoy my website and I encourage you to interact with me!

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