CARRIER MILLS, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the opening of two new boat access areas at the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area, providing new fishing opportunities at the Saline County site.
Anglers will now be able to use new boat access areas at the 100-acre Sahara Lake and the smaller 20-acre fishing lake at Sahara Woods.
“We are excited to announce the expansion of public recreation access to the Sahara Woods site by opening these two boat access areas,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Sahara Woods has been a popular spot for archery deer hunting each fall. The completion of boat accesses and the opening of boat and bank fishing opportunities will allow even more people to enjoy the site.”
The ADA accessible boat access area projects include parking lots, concrete boat ramps, courtesy boat docks, security lighting, sidewalks, restrooms, and information kiosks. Funding for the $350,000 project includes 75 percent federal funds matched by state boat access funds provided through revenues generated by boat and canoe registration fees and marine motor fuel taxes paid by boaters.
Located west of Harrisburg on Illinois Route 13, Sahara Woods is a former mine site that was donated to the State of Illinois by the Sahara Coal Company. Mined land reclamation efforts at Sahara Woods, directed by the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals, have included grading, covering and planting vegetation on eroded mine refuse piles located throughout the site; reclaiming mine roads; removal of mine buildings and other structures; and, tree planting to control erosion and enhance wildlife habitat. Some areas of the Sahara Woods SFWA remain off-limits to site visitors as mine reclamation work continues.
For more information about Sahara Woods SFWA call 618-276-4405.