Bald Knob Cross

Bald Knob Cross, completed in 1963, is a large white cross located in the Shawnee National Forest near  Alto PassIllinois. The structure is 111 feet  tall and is visible, when lit at night, over an area of 7,500 square miles . The base of the cross is made of Illinois marble and the upper portion is covered by reinforced steel porcelain panels.
 The Bald Knob cross can withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour . It is hollow, and visitors were originally able to go to the top. This was discontinued at some point before 1982, probably due to insurance concerns about the deteriorating condition of the internal stairs.

Bald Knob Mountain was first suggested as an excellent site for a sunrise Easter service by Wayman Presley and Rev. William Lirely after the 1936 Easter service. 

The first such service was held in 1937, with 250 attendees, and has been held annually 

since. From 1984 to 1986 there was a Passion Play held in conjunction with the Easter service.

         Bald Knob Cross 

After the site was Bought, the Cross was built in stages with money from various fundraisers, the most famous of which was that of Myrta Clutts and her pigs                    

    Bald Knob Cross is at the north end of the trail. When the leaves are off, there is an excellent view of Clear Creek Valley. You will be exposed to the Ozark-like terrain with steep rocky slopes. 

For more info about the Cross visit this Site  Bald knob Cross Page  

At a Glance

Open Season: January - December
Best Season: All year
Closest Towns: Surrounding Area LaRue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond Research Natural Area, Clear Springs Wilderness and Bald Knob Wilderness.

Emergencies The nearest hospital is Union County Hospital in Anna. The nearest public phone is in Alto Pass.

Information Center: Facilities: Trailhead at north and south end of trail.

Surface Type: Rock and Dirt

General Information


Bald Knob Cross

Access: North-end trailhead Rt. 127 to Alto Pass, follow signs to Bald Knob Cross. It is 6 miles from Rt. 127. Trailhead is approx. 100 yards off the road at the edge of the tree line. Southend
trailhead Rt.127 to Alto Pass to Brown Section Road. Go 1.6 miles to Rhine Road. There is a sign and pull-off for parking.

Hiker/Equestrian Trails - white diamond

Trail Ethics: Pack it in, Pack it out.

General Notes: