4,100 acre recreation park now open in Saline County - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

4,100 acre recreation park now open in Saline County

SALINE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

The Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area in Saline County is now open.

Thanks to two new boat access areas, visitors are now allowed to fish in the park. This 4,100 acre park is located near Harrisburg, Illinois.

This 13 year development has been a long process.

Illinois State Senator, Gary Forby, and State Representative, Brandon Phelps worked to get the park open.

"This has been a long time coming for Southern Illinois," Senator Forby said. "Opening this park for fishers and hunters is essential for our region's tourism industry to help boost revenues, putting people to work and paying our bills."

In 1998, more than 4,000 acres of previously mined land was donated to the state.  The park was originally slated to open in 2006, but state money issues caused a delay. 

Visitors will now be able to use the new boat access areas at the 100-acre Sahara Lake and the smaller 20-acre fishing lake at Sahara Woods.

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