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Cave-In-Rock State Park 'Cave In Rock' © John Zignich
Looking into the Cave
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USA Parks
Illinois
Southern Region
Cave-In-Rock State Park
CAVE-IN-ROCK STATE PARK
CAVE-IN-ROCK STATE PARK
1 New State Park Rd. Box 338
Cave-In-Rock, Illinois   62919

Phone: 618-289-4325
Email:
Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Looking into the Cave

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Overlooking the shoreline of Cave-In-Rock Ohio River towards Kentucky.

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Path, along Ohio River, towards Cave-In-Rock.

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Entrance to Cave In Rock

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Crossing the Ohio River, a fairy is transporting cars from Illinois to Kentucky as well as return trips.

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Cave In Rock restaurant patio.

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

An eye opening view, of the Ohio River Kentucky, from the restaurant patio.

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Totem Pole located near entrance of Cave-In-Park Restaurant.

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Cave In Rock'
© John Jack Zignich

website

Entrance to the Cave-In-Park Restaurant.

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park
© Copyright 2007-2010 Benjamin Prepelka All Rights Reserved

website

Cave-In-Rock State Park
© Copyright 2007-2010 Benjamin Prepelka All Rights Reserved

website

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park
'Looking Out of Cave'
© Darrens Photos

The is looking out of the cave in Rock cave.

Few natural formations are as awe-inspiring or intriguing as a cave. The deep, dark recesses immediately conjure up images of adventure, mystery, terror, robbers and pirates.

At Cave-In-Rock in southern Illinois, you can experience this fascination for yourself. Sitting atop the high bluffs overlooking the scenic Ohio River, the heavily wooded park is named for the 55-foot-wide cave that was carved out of the limestone rock by water thousands of years ago. Trails winding along the riverbank offer views of riverboats, barges and other river scenes.
History of the Area
The actual history of this imposing natural phenomenon is colorful and provocative. The first European explorer to encounter it was M. de Lery of France, who in 1729 called it caverne dans Le Roc. It was a conspicuous curiosity frequently mentioned by later travelers in diaries and journals.

Following the Revolutionary War, this immense recess came to serve as the ideal lair for outlaws, bandits and river pirates who preyed on the people traveling along the Ohio River.One of the most ambitious of these ruthless malefactors was Samuel Mason. Once an officer in George Washington's Revolutionary Army, in 1797 he converted the cavern into a tavern which he called the Cave-In-Rock.

From this apparently innocent and inviting position, Mason would dispatch his cohorts upriver to befriend unwary and bewildered travelers with offers of help and guidance. As they neared the cave, these henchmen would disable their boats or force them toward the yawning hollow, where the hapless pilgrims would be robbed, or worse. Few victims lived to tell their story.

By the early 1800s, following the demise of the Mason Gang, the cave sheltered the even more notorious Harpe Brothers, a pair of killers fleeing execution in Kentucky. They continued their personal reign of thievery and murder in Illinois, using the cave as hideout and headquarters until they too were killed.

It's interesting to note that the cave served as a backdrop for a scene in the movie "How The West Was Won." The scene was a near-accurate portrayal of how, in the 18th and 19th centuries, ruthless bandits used the cave to lure unsuspecting travelers to an untimely end.

Although other desperadoes continued to take advantage of the secrecy and seclusion afforded by Cave-In-Rock, by the mid-1830s the quickening westward expansion of civilization and the steady growth in the local population and commerce had destroyed or driven out the "river rats" and the cave began to serve as temporary shelter for other pioneers on their way west. Throughout the 19th century, this remarkable geological feature was an important landmark, prominently displayed on maps from the period.

In 1929, the State of Illinois acquired 64.5 acres for a park that since has increased to 204 acres. The well-wooded, 60-foot-high hills and the rugged bluffs along the river - commanding expansive views of the famous waterway - became Cave-In-Rock State Park.

In the words of Illinois historian John W. Allen, "Today only the natural beauty of the historic spot remains, clothed in mystery. In the hollow silence of the cave that echoes the peaceful cooing of doves, a visitor can let a vivid imagination run riot. But he can dream little that will be beyond what actually happened."
Camping
On the scenic north side of the park there are camping accommodations with 34 Class A sites. They are equipped with electricity and can accommodate units up to 60-feet long. Twenty-five Class B/S tent sites are also available, and showers, restrooms and dumping stations are present in both camping areas. Contact the site superintendent or campground host for camping permits and information. Handicapped sites also are available. Firewood and grills are furnished at each campsite.
Nearby Accommodations
Rim Rock's Dogwood Cabins - Elizabethtown, ILCottages and Cabins
Southern Illinois Cabins with all amenities, surrounded by The Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. All cabins have air conditioning, heat, kitchen including stove, frig, microwave, coffee maker, toaster bathroom with shower, screened in porch, electric fireplace, satellite tv with HBO and DVD, all linens, cookware, plates, utensil, outside grill and picnic table.
8.3 miles from park*
Timber Ridge Outpost Cabins - Elizabethtown, ILCottages and Cabins
Come back to a simpler time when families played games together in the evenings and sat on the porch talking into the night. Enjoy some southern hospitality while staying in a real Log Cabin or a one-of-a-kind luxurious Tree House
8.9 miles from park*
River Rose Inn Bed Breakfast - Elizabethtown, ILBBs / Inns
Built in 1914 in a picturesque rivertown, the River Rose Inn Bed Breakfast is unique and gracious with spectacular views of the dazzling Ohio River. Enjoy our luxurious accommodations and our gourmet breakfasts. Relax in the formal living room or cozy parlor on the second floor. Swim in the inground pool or enjoy the private jacuzzi spa.
8.3 miles from park*


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Picnicking
For the day visitor, ample parking is provided by five separate lots. There are three developed playground areas for children; and shaded picnic areas situated throughout the park provide tables, grills, water hydrants and drinking fountains. There are four large picnic shelters for group gatherings and firewood is available on request from the park attendants.
Trails
In addition to the natural splendor of the cave itself, the park contains two established hiking trails of moderate difficulty, plus numerous unmarked trails for exploration and appreciation of tranquil forests and inspiring views.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 9 Mountain Lion Scream
On April 7,2013 while tent camping in the park at about 4:30am or so, I heard what sounded like a woman screaming at the top of her lungs! As this sound got closer, I could tell it was not a human. This sound was in the park and very close to my tent, about 100yds.away or so. I resaerched the sound I heard and I am sure that it was a Moutain Lion scream! The IDNR should revisit the opinion regarding Mountain Lions in the Shawnee! Still, I enjoyed the cave, hiking and camping in the park in general.
February 18 excellent park to go to by Cody Hustedde
August 25 A peaceful retreat by Bulldog
On the deck, watching the barges, day and night - about as peaceful as it gets. I highly recommend it as an excellent place to unwind.
June 19 MY FAVORITE CAMPING SPOT by CHERYL IN MARION
I ABSOULTLY LOVE CAVE IN ROCK STATE PARK. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND QUITE. IT IS A PLEASURE TO STROLL AROUND THE LITTLE TOWN AND EAT AT THE NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT. I TRY TO COME BACK EVERY YEAR.
May 25 Cave-in-rock by katghale
wonderful place!!! go there every chance!


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
The Davie School Inn - Anna, ILBBs / Inns
Restored and remodeled to created an Inn with all the modern conveniences yet still leave the atmosphere of the old school house. Convenient accessibility to many Southern Illinois tourism attractions.
Web Site: davieschoolinn.com
59.9 miles from park*
Willowbrook Cabin Rental - Golconda, ILCottages and Cabins
LARGE 2 and 3 bedroom private CABINS located near many of the major ATTRACTIONS of the Shawnee National FOREST and the surrounding Southern ILLINOIS area. All cabins offer incredible VALUE as they are fully furnished with everything needed including full kitchens with cookware, microwave, liens, fire pits and wood, outdoor grill, satellite TV and even FREE internet. Open all seasons
Web Site: WillowBrookCabins.com
19.4 miles from park*
The Irish Inn - Ozark, ILBBs / Inns
Offering a wee bit of Europe in Southern Illinois' wine country. We are located right in the Shawnee National Forest. Stay in a stone and log chalet, cool in summer with blazing log fires in winter. You will enjoy the company of a genuine Belfast-born innkeeper and a full traditional Irish breakfast. There is no extra charge for the blarney, storytelling, and good Irish luck
Web Site: irishinn.tripod.com
42.5 miles from park*
Cedar Rock Cabins - Goreville, ILCottages and Cabins
Located in beautiful Johnson County, Illinois, and nestled within the Shawnee National Forest. Enjoy the screened in porch at dusk and view the wildlife that wanders freely through the woods. The hot tub is located out of doors so you can relax in luxury beneath the stars....
Web Site: cedarrockcabins.com
45.8 miles from park*
Doc's Lakeside Cabin - Jonesboro, ILCottages and Cabins
Doc's Lakeside Cabin was built in 2012 and is located in beautiful Southern Illinois. Let us welcome you to setting where you can rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.
Web Site: docslakesidecabin.com
65.3 miles from park*
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Directions
Cave-in-Rock State Park is located on the Ohio River in Hardin County, Illinois. To reach the park from the northern parts of Illinois, proceed south on I-57 exiting at Marion, IL, on highway 13 east. Go east through Marion and Harrisburg to the intersection of Illinois 1 and 13. Turn south 22 miles on highway 1 to Cave-in-Rock State Park. From the south, take highway 90 from Marion, KY., and cross the Cave-in-Rock ferry and follow directional signs to the park entrance. From the southeast take I-24 west from the I-24 bridge to exit #16, then go 38 miles east on Illinois highway 146 to the park. From Southern Indiana, proceed through Evansville, IN traveling West on highway 62 and Illinois highway 141 to Illinois Rt. 1, then go south 36 miles to Cave-in-Rock State Park.

USA Parks
Illinois
Southern Region
Cave-In-Rock State Park
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