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Bay Creek Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws


The United States Congress designated the Bay Creek Wilderness (map) in 1990 and it now has a total of 2,760 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Illinois and is managed by the Forest Service. The Bay Creek Wilderness is bordered by the Burden Falls Wilderness to the northwest.


Bay Creek runs year-round, creating excellent conditions for woodland species including oak, pine, cedar, and ash, and flowering trees such as dogwood, redbud, wild cherry, and plum. On the north side, Bay Creek Wilderness shares a border with Burden Falls Wilderness. Bluffs colored by bands of iron oxide and unusual limestone and sandstone formations attract human visitors. Permits are not required for trail use or camping. Leave all archaeological sites as you find them, and don't touch "leaves of three"; poison ivy grows here as a vine, a freestanding low plant, and a freestanding high shrub.

Planning to Visit the Bay Creek Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Bay Creek Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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