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From the upland forest down to the water, come explore where Jordan Creek meets the Salt Fork of the Vermilion River. Both streams are on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, an indication of their high quality. The forest and floodplain support an abundance of wildflowers. This 27-acre site has a rich history. The name "Mouth of Jordan" was long associated with its role as a favorite recreational destination. 

Confluence of Jordan Creek and Salt Fork


False Solomon's Seal at Mouth of Jordan Reserve


Open Sunrise to Sunset

LCF has worked to clear a path along the river, but the trail is still primitive, so be careful.


You may park in a small area east of the LCF property, where the landowner has given permission to park. Or park with caution along the north (river) side of the road. Please do not park on the south (hill) side of the road. 

Note for winter driving: The road from the east drops steeply; access after snow may be easier from the west.

Uses allowed include canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and wading.

Prohibited uses include use of alcohol or drugs, camping or fires, hunting or firearms, and motorized or wheeled vehicles.


27 acres southwest of Oakwood in Vermilion County, Illinois

Latitude and Longitude: 
40.078460, -87.798750

or enter "Mouth of Jordan"
in Google Maps

History & Significance

On January 31, 2020, LCF purchased 11 acres of land at the mouth of Jordan Creek at the Salt Fork of the Vermilion River. Three more acres along the Salt Fork were added in June of 2020. On March 7, 2024, LCF purchased 12 adjacent acres of upland forest with steep ravines and views down to the river.


The site is on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory due to the high-quality aquatic life there, including endangered freshwater mussel species and the threatened mudpuppy salamander. Winged visitors to the area have included wood ducks and a red-shouldered hawk. In spring, the surrounding upland forest is filled with a rich variety of wildflowers.


According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Jordan Creek is 11 miles long and has an average width of 13 feet. The width of the Salt Fork ranges from 50 to 95 feet.


The area around the Salt Fork and Jordan Creek has been known by many names since settlers arrived in the early 1800s. Donald Richter notes that, for those who crossed the river to the north of this site, the area was referred to as “Jordan Ford.” There was no bridge, but roads ran to the spot from both sides, and a ford existed until about 1950.

Richter says that, when bitter winters froze the Salt Fork a few inches deep, ice was harvested here for home iceboxes. This use ended by the 1940s, with the arrival of refrigerators.

Local historian Dannel McCollum recalls another relatively modern, practical function: Cars were brought here to be washed — in the river!

A portion of the river upstream was called the “English Channel” by some early 19th-century pioneers, according to local resident Richard “Dick” Woodard. These deep waters are among the best places to catch catfish in the Salt Fork, Woodard notes.


To the south, the area was known as the “Mouth of Jordan." It was a popular recreational spot for summer picnickers and swimmers. The more adventurous used a cable swing to leap into the river's deepest waters. Numerous baptisms were held here.


Note: A second Jordan Creek site exists in Vermilion County — Jordan Creek of the North Fork, located 15 miles north of Danville. Dedicated as a Nature Preserve in 1999, this 46.7-acre site is owned by the Vermilion County Conservation District.

Sources of Historical Information:

Commercial-News, Danville; Wicoff, Mary; May 2, 2020; Richter: Salt Fork has beauty, long history.

Vermilion County Museum, Heritage Magazine; Autumn 1980; Richter, Donald; Ghost Town-Jordan.

Commercial-News, Danville; April 24, 2016; Richter, Donald; Richter: Keeping cool was harder in past.

Email communication with Dannel McCollum and Vermilion County resident James Smith; May 2020.

Thanks to Our Project Donors and Supporters

We thank these generous donors who helped LCF complete the acquisition of this special natural area.  LCF also wants to thank the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for awarding LCF a land acquisition grant. It is only with this support that LCF can protect lands such as this in perpetuity!

Jim Ayers

Beth Beauchamp & Bryan Johns

J. Steven Beckett

Jan Bentley

Chris Berti

Simon Dowd

Deanna Glosser

Robin Hall

Bruce Hannon

Bob Ilyes

John & Diane Marlin
Amanda & Ryan Pankau
Jack Paxton
Melissa Records
Mary Kay Solecki
Joseph Taylor

Help LCF acquire land like Mouth of Jordan Reserve and protect it — forever.

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