Olney's recreational facilities offer fun for the whole family.
it comes to offering a variety of recreational choices to residents
and visitors alike, Olney is second to none. With three lakes surrounding
the city, the area is a prime location for fishing, swimming, boating
and camping, and there are many parks and recreational areas both inside
and outside city limits.
Olney City Park
The Olney City Park is located on Route 130 and offers a wide variety
of recreational activities and facilities for residents and visitors
sports enthusiasts, the park contains five baseball fields, two softball
fields, six lighted tennis courts, a sand volleyball court and four
horseshoe courts. There are also two playgrounds at the park: one for
older children and Kiddie Land for younger children.
barbeques, reunions and family outings, the park features open picnic
spots and six covered picnic shelters, as well as an air-conditioned
community building that can accommodate 120 people and contains kitchen
and restroom facilities. The Olney City Park is also the location for
several special events during the year.
Whittle Avenue, Bower Park was originally named Tower Park for the 125-foot
brick water tower that was built on the site in 1880. When the water
tower was demolished in 1941, the park was renamed, and a fountain was
placed in its center.
the heart of downtown in the 300 block of East Main, the Senior Citizen
Park is a great place to relax and enjoy a break from shopping and viewing
the sites of the community.
Kiwanis Park is situated in close proximity to the boat docks on East
Fork Lake, providing the perfect spot for boaters to enjoy a casual
picnic or barbeque before heading out onto the lake or upon their return
from a fishing or leisure boating experience. Along with boat slips
for parking, Kiwanis Park contains two covered picnic shelters, the
larger of which is wired for electricity. The park also offers a playground,
ball diamond and restroom facilities.
Located on the south side of East Fork Lake, Miller's Grove offers area
residents three covered shelters, electricity and restroom facilities,
as well as several choice fishing spots.
Haven and the Robert Ridgway Memorial Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary
Ñ naturalist, scientist, artist and author of Birds of Middle and North
America and Color Standards and Color Nomenclature Ñ was a Smithsonian
contributor and renowned ornithology authority. Ridgway bought 18 acres
near Olney in 1906 as a site for his family's summer cottage. This tract
of land, located near Miller's Grove, now bears his name and is a favored
spot in the area for bird watchers and nature lovers of all ages.
One of the newest and most popular additions to the Olney landscape,
Alvin Musgrove Park was created when Alvin and Wenonah Musgrove, both
long-time Olneans, donated 20 acres of land on Silver Street to the
city of Olney to be used as a park in the mid 1990s. The park has expanded
rapidly since then with the opening of the Musgrove Aquatic Center in
1997 and the recent creation of the Wenonah Musgrove Recreation Area,
featuring a soccer field, a playground area, a shelter and lighted basketball
Musgrove Aquatic Center, which replaced the older community pool at
the City Park, is located at Alvin Musgrove Park and is a popular gathering
place for summer fun as well as a state-of-the-art swimming area for
the entire community to enjoy from Memorial Day weekend through Labor
Aquatic Center is complete with a 190-foot water slide; a water umbrella;
a diving well area with two 1-meter diving boards; a bathhouse with
lockers and showers; an eight-lane, 25-meter competition area; a concession
stand; picnic tables and umbrellas; and a professional, certified staff.
events and programs at the Aquatic Center include lap swim times and
family night; swimming lessons are available through the City of Olney
Summer Recreation Program. The Aquatic Center is also available for
private parties and is home of the Olney Tiger Sharks swim team.
Located just over a mile north of Olney, Vernor Lake was built in the
early 1900s as Olney's original water source, but it is now used only
for recreational purposes. It is surrounded by privately owned homes
and also has a small wooded area for picnicking and fishing. The Richland
County Country Club is located on the north side of the lake.
In 1955, the City of Olney built Borah Lake to replace Vernor Lake as
a water source. Since the building of East Fork Lake, Borah Lake has
become a popular recreational spot and is the only city-owned lake used
for swimming as well as for fishing and boating. The swimming area is
roped off from the boating areas and is open to the general public free
Constructed in 1970, East Fork Lake is used both as a recreational spot
and as a primary water source for Olney. Boating and fishing are prime
here. East Fork Lake covers 934 acres and is designated as Olney's largest,
as well as newest, lake.
the golf-enthusiast, the Richland Country Club is a semiprivate club
adjoining Vernor Lake that offers a swimming pool, clubhouse, tennis
courts and an 18-hole golf course that ranks among the finest in southeastern
Illinois. A par-three golf course is also located near East Fork Lake
for public use.
Webber Memorial Soccer Fields
Olney is home to one of the premier youth soccer programs in southeastern
Illinois. The Ed Webber Memorial Soccer Fields are located at the Olney
Central College Soccer Complex and feature three full-size fields (one
lighted) and three youth fields. The Richland County Soccer Program
celebrates 20 years of serving county youth.
Residents can get fit at the local exercise facility and have fun at
the same time. It offers 24-hour key card access, tanning, yoga, fit
ball, step aerobics, free weights, cardio and exercise machines along
with certified personal trainers. Olney also features an exercise and
weight-loss facility exclusively for women.
Hills State Park, situated 12 miles east of Olney, is a beautiful stop
for anyone who loves the outdoors. Hiking and horseback riding trails
wind through 947 acres of wooded land, and sportsmen will find that
Red Hills offers some of the best hunting and fishing in the region.