Parks & Recreation in Marion

Kokopelli Golf Club
1527 Champions Dr. | Marion
(618) 997-5656

Ranked 2012 “Best Places to Play in Illinois” by Golf Week magazine, Kokopelli has hosted Illinois State Amateur and PGA Junior Series Events on their beautiful 18 hole, par71 course. This venue is surrounded by a beautiful resident community and offers a driving range, PGA-certified golf pros, a full-service golf shop, and practice and instructional facilities. The clubhouse features a bar and full restaurant that hosts themed meals, banquets and events, with an event coordinator on staff.

The HUB Recreation Center
917 W. Main St. | Marion
(618) 997-2HUB (2482)

The HUB is a 70,000-square-foot indoor recreation center owned and operated by the City of Marion. Members and guests enjoy swimming, exercising and playing sports. The fitness center offers many amenities, such as state-of-the-art equipment; the Heartland Regional Aquatics Center complete with a waterslide, lap pool, therapy spa and lazy river; the Black Diamond Harley-Davidson Gymnasium; an indoor track; on-site child watch; group fitness classes; birthday party rooms; and swim lessons, camps and leagues. Stop by today and find out how you can make The HUB part of your universe.

Marion Park District Aquatic Center
500 E. DeYoung St. | Marion

The aquatic center offers season and family passes, swim lessons, open swim sessions and a swim team.


Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
8588 Route 148 | Marion
(618) 997-3344

Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Crab Orchard was established in 1947. This 44,000-acre refuge is a multiple-use area that blends wildlife conservation, recreation, agriculture and industry, making Crab Orchard one of the more unique refuges in the nation.

Crab Orchard provides habitat for native wildlife and opportunities for people to observe and appreciate wildlife and the outdoor environment. The refuge has three major bodies of water (Crab Orchard, Devil’s Kitchen and Little Grassy Lakes) that attract anglers, hunters, campers, bird watchers and boaters from all over the Midwest. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, swimming, photography, picnicking and outdoor educational activities.

Shawnee National Forest
50 Hwy. 145 South | Harrisburg
(618) 253-7114

The Shawnee National Forest provides scenic views, abundant recreational opportunities and historic sites. Activities include picnicking, camping, boating, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, biking, rock climbing and hunting.

In the spring, Shawnee is noted for wildflower viewing and mushroom gathering. In the fall, Shawnee displays an amazing array of fall colors. Catch a glimpse of history at one of Shawnee’s historic sites, including Millstone Bluff, Illinois Iron Furnace, Lincoln Memorial, Trail of Tears and Miller Grove, as well as many small historic family cemeteries. Popular places include Garden of the Gods, Pounds Hollow, Lake Glendale, Oakwood Bottoms, LaRue Pine Hills and seven designated wilderness areas.

Cache River State Natural Area
930 Sunflower Ln. | Belknap
(618) 657-2064

Cache River State Natural Area is situated in southernmost Illinois within a floodplain carved long ago by glacial floodwater of the Ohio River. When the Ohio River adopted its present course, it left the Cache River to meander across rich and vast wetlands.

Among the outstanding natural features are massive cypress trees whose flared bases exceed 40 feet circumference. Many are more than 1,000 years old, including one that has earned the title of state champion bald cypress because of its huge trunk girth, towering height and heavily branched canopy.

The Cache River State Natural Area boasts some of the highest quality aquatic and terrestrial natural communities remaining in Illinois. Wetlands within this area are so important to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds that in 1996 the Ramsar Convention collectively designated them a Wetland of International Importance, only the 19th wetland in the United States to receive the distinction.

The site offers a wide array of recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing and seasonal hunting programs.

Visit the Henry N. Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center to learn more about the region’s natural wonders. ›

Ferne Clyffe State Park
Route 37, P.O. Box 10 | Goreville
(618) 995-2411

Ferne Clyffe has been known as an outstanding natural scenic spot for nearly 100 years. An abundance of ferns, unique geological features and unusual plant communities create an atmosphere that enhances the park’s many recreational facilities. Trails wind through picturesque woods, allowing visitors to view fascinating rock formations and inspiring vistas. Ferne Clyffe also offers camping, picnicking, hiking, hunting and fishing.

Marion Park District
519 Parish Ave. | Marion
(618) 993-3940

The Marion Park District was established in 1957. As of 2019, the district serves approximately 17,800 residents who live within the district’s taxing limits.

The park district currently owns and provides services at seven parks covering approximately 125 acres, including a dog park and inclusive playground. The district also offers an aquatic center, pickleball complex, disc golf course and soccer complex, as well as a swim team and softball, baseball and soccer leagues.

The district maintains facilities early spring through late fall for sports associations and clubs.

Ray Fosse Park
500 E. DeYoung St. | Marion

Ray Fosse Park sits on 27 acres of land and offers many activities for all ages. Recent additions include a bags complex, the Heartland Regional Medical Center Inclusive Playground with fitness area and an updated mural at the aquatic center. In 2019, the tennis court area was converted into a pickleball complex with six pickleball courts, bleacher seating and a pavilion area.

Ray Fosse Park offers an eight-field baseball/softball complex, five picnic pavilions, batting cages and Goofy Golf, the Aquatics Center (summer season only), three playground areas, restrooms, concession areas and pavilions.

Ashley Park
519 Parish Ave. | Marion
(618) 993-3940

The 10-acre Ashley Park is a great place to host a party or event with cabins and picnic shelters available for rent. The park also offers playground equipment, a basketball court, large open fields and restrooms.

The park is also home to the park district’s administrative offices where park board meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

John W. Jones Park
501 W. Gent St. | Marion

This neighborhood park has two lighted basketball courts, a picnic shelter, outdoor grills, restrooms and a playground.

Marion Soccer Complex
1700 E. Main St. | Marion

The Marion Soccer Complex has 14 soccer fields, both lighted and non-lighted, and hosts the annual Whirlwind Soccer Tournament. The site features two shelters, a concession stand, restrooms facilities, a playground and extensive parking. The park is bordered on the east by an irrigation pond and a nature area featuring bat houses and wood duck boxes. The Marion Park District provides services in this park to Marion Soccer Incorporated for programming.

Pamela Park
409 Charlotte Rd. | Marion

Pamela Park is a quaint neighborhood park featuring playground equipment appropriate for smaller children.

Pyramid Park
1421 Pharaoh’s Wy. | Marion

Pyramid Park is home to a skate park and the professionally-designed, 18-basket Pharaoh’s Way Disc Golf, a challenging course that winds through the 33 acres of Pyramid Park. Disc golf league play is also available at the course. In addition, the park features two softball fields used for adult softball games, a playground, picnic shelters, outdoor grills and restrooms.

Harrison – Bruce Park
605 Russell St. | Marion

Harrison – Bruce Park features lighted tennis courts that are also striped for pickleball, picnic shelters, a playground and a membership-based dog park. The Bark Park is an exercise and play venue open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. Yearly memberships are available on a “per-dog” basis. Members enter the park on West Goodall Street via access with a secure keypad code.