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Cave-in-Rock State Park, Cave in Rock

(110+ reviews on the web)
State Park Nature / Park
Cave-In-Rock State Park is an Illinois state park, on 240 acres, in the town of Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County, Illinois in the United States. The state park contains the historic Cave-in-Rock, a landmark of the Ohio River. It is maintained by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).GeologyThe Cave-in-Rock was worn into the limestone bluffs of the Ohio by river floods, especially during the meltoff following the Wisconsin ice age. It is not a karstland cavern like Mammoth Cave in nearby Kentucky; it is an obvious, 55ft tunnel leading a long distance into the bluff.HistoryCave-in-Rock was known and used for thousands of years by the Native Americans. It was mapped and named in 1729 by the French explorer M. de Lery, who named it the Caverne dans le Roc. This name, translated directly into English, is the name the cave bears to this day.During the 1790s and the first three decades of the 19th century, Cave-in-Rock reached the height of its notoriety. Flatboats carrying farm produce from Kentucky, Ohio, and southern Indiana began to float down the Ohio River towards the marketplace in New Orleans. As a known Ohio River landmark, the cave was a landmark of this dangerous journey. From approximately 1797 until 1799, the cave was a hideout for a notorious gang of bandits, headed by Samuel Mason, that preyed upon the lawless river commerce. The outlaws Frank and Jesse James of the notorious James Gang also hid out in the cave, according to local lore, leaving their marks in the cave.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Stopped and drove through and walked a bit of it while out on a Sunday drive. It's a decent sized park that has a playground, restaurant, and much more. The Cave-in-Rock Ferry is also another attracti...  more »
  • Very pitcturesque area along the shores of the Ohio River. Great picnic areas and hiking. The highlight is the cave in the limestone bluff. Very historical with dates on the ceiling from the 1800's. W...  more »
  • Cave-In-Rock State Park covers 240 acres outside the town of Cave-In-Rock in Hardin County in southern Illinois. It sits atop the high bluffs overlooking the scenic Ohio River. The heavily wooded park...  more »
Google
  • Nice location, secluded. The cabin did feel a little dated (furniture, carpet, decor) so that's the only negative. Beds weren't super comfy, but it was a place to sleep. The view made up for it though. Awesome view of the river and surrounding area.
  • Simply amazing rock formation. Experience the grandeur and temperature change once inside cave. I highly recommend. Easy hiking for day trippers.
  • Once you finally find it, it's pretty cool. Just make sure you have more on your schedule. This is a great place for a fun little detour and nothing much else.
  • Hubby preaches here at least once a year. We love it . Feels like home. Can't wait to go back!
  • Cool place, It is free to get in the park and you can park, go straight to see the cave, and leave if you wanted. Quick walk with stairs to the cave. Its directly on the bank of the Ohio river. Also once inside, find the crack in the ceiling letting light in for a rare in-cave sunlight photo opportunity