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Peabody River King

Peabody-River King

Once a surface-mined area, Peabody-River King State Fish and Wildlife Area is used today by anglers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts looking for recreational opportunities in southwestern Illinois. Located in southern St. Clair County east of New Athens, Peabody-River King is adjacent to Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area.  Access is available east from New Athens via Old Highway 13 and Darmstadt Road.

Some 1,800 acres of the 2,000-acre site were donated to the Illinois Department f Natural Resources by the Peabody Coal Co. in 1994. Peabody Coal had mined the area from the late 1950s through the late 1980s, operating its surface mines under a serries of mine reclamation measures.  As a result, the area contains a varied topography, including more than 20 lakes and ponds totaling 534 acres.  The water impoundments are a result of the surface mining operations.

Fescue is common through the site and was planted during the reclamation process to reduce soil erosion.  Recently, some of the grasslands have been planted with prairie plants  to provide varied habitat for wildlife.  In addition, each year approximately 200 acres are planted to sunflowers, corn, milo, wheat, alfalfa, and soybeans.

Park Information:

West Central Illinois

8900 New Athens Darmstadt Rd

New Athens


618-475-9339 / 618-785-2555



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