Cave-in-Rock State Park, Cave in Rock

4.3
#10 of 38 in Nature in Illinois
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.
Make your Cave in Rock itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.
Source
Create an itinerary including Cave-in-Rock State Park
map
Places to stay near Cave-in-Rock State Park
Cave-in-Rock State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
125 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The Lodge at Cave in Rock State Park is a great to take a break. View of the river is outstanding watching the river traffic and the birding watching.  more »
  • Amazing rock formation and is located bottom tip of Illinois where Ohio river passing between IL and KY. Short time attraction and accessible to parking lot.  more »
  • While touring Southern Illinois, i took the opportunity to visit Cave in Rock State Park for the very first time.... While i wouldn't plan a vacation around it, it's still very much worth visiting if ...  more »
Google
  • Cool natural formation. If you're in the area checking out the geologic features then this is a great stop. It's also easy to access from the parking. There are stairs. It's not a ton but enough that the older folks should be aware.
  • Beautiful place to visit. A lot of room to walk around the caves and riverside without a lot of restrictions on where you can and can't go. We stayed at the campground which was pretty nice for a cost of only $10 a night.
  • Great trip for a day drive over from Southeast Missouri. Took the kiddos (9 and 6) and they really enjoyed it. The cave itself is a great experience; no spelunking skills required, and the area around the cave and bluffs was fun to explore as well. Overall, great experience; clean, well maintained park facilities and a bonus with the playground near the parking area. Did not get to try out the restaurant (Sunday and they closed at 6p).
  • We stopped in the park to get dinner at the lodge and really enjoyed it. The lodge had live music and a buffet. The food was home cooked with all of the favorites that you might have at a family reunion or a great summer get together. I must say I ate too much but couldn't resist one more piece of fried chicken and another piece of home made desert. Afterwards we listened to the music and explored the cave. The lodge is in a perfect location overlooking the river. We might try staying here the next time we are near.
  • Cabin stay at Cave in the Rock We extended our eclipse jaunt by staying two days at Cave in the Rock State Park. We rented a cabin. The cabins are duplex style. The angles of the deck keep each separate. There is a bigger extended deck in more exposed view. The view of the Ohio River from inside cabin and the deck is beautiful. While there I saw a bald eagle, a deer on the Kentucky side getting a drink, many barges, and great sunrises and sunsets. We took the ferry across the Ohio from Kentucky to get there. The State of Illinois runs this free ferry. It was a great place to stay. A Cave in the Rock cabin is convenient for a visit to this state park and all of the Shawnee National Forrest. Two warnings: the the Internet access is satellite, it is slow. The wifi works well, but be patient. My wife pointed out there is no hair dryer. Otherwise a place of quiet natural beauty to relax or use as a base of operations for exploring Southern Illinois and Kentucky. We really enjoyed our stay.

Plan your trip to Cave in Rock

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Cave-in-Rock State Park by other users

4 days in Makanda BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Paducah BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 36 days in Illinois BY A USER FROM MONTENEGRO April, culture, outdoors, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Paducah BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in Paducah BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Elizabethtown BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Paducah BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 42 days in Illinois BY A USER FROM POLAND July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 54 days in Illinois BY A USER FROM INDIA April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Elizabethtown BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Makanda BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans