Round Bluff Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Goreville, take Highway 37 south 1 mile to the entrance to Ferne Clyffe State Park. Take the entrance road through the park for 1 mile to another park road. Turn south on this road and go 0.25 mile. The preserve is on the east side of the road.
Round Bluff is an isolated outlier of the massive Pennsylvanian sandstones that form the canyons of Ferne Clyffe. It stands like an island, separated from the principal bluffs of the park and contains an outstanding assemblage of plants not found elsewhere in the region. Northeastern relict plants such as bottle gentian, black chokecherry, hay scented fern and bartonia grow on the shaded sandstone outcrops. Sandstone glades along the south side of the bluff support prickly pear cactus, rock pink and blue curls. High quality remnants of the sandstone cliff and sandstone glade natural communities of the Greater Shawnee Hills Section of the Shawnee Hills Natural Division are represented.
The forested portions of the preserve support a variety of songbirds. These include the yellow-billed cuckoo, eastern wood pewee and red-headed woodpecker. Black vultures are often sighted overhead.
Ownership: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated: August 1973
Size: 53 acres
Topo Map: Goreville 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist, Ferne Clyffe State Park, P.O. Box 67, Goreville, IL 62939 (618/995-2568), or Site Superintendent, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Goreville, IL 62939 (618/995-2411)
1/2009 - R. Heidorn