Trip Planner:   USA  /  Illinois  /  Metropolis  /  Nature  /  Fort Massac State Park

Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis

(100+ reviews on the web)
State Park
Fort Massac is a colonial and early National-era fort on the Ohio River in Massac County, Illinois, United States.Legend has it that, as early as 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his soldiers constructed a primitive fortification here to defend themselves from native attack. Maps from the early 18th century show an "Ancien Fort" near this location.Fort Massac was built by the French in 1757, during the French and Indian War and was originally called "Fort de L’Ascension." The name was changed in 1759, to honor of Claud Louis d'Espinchal, Marquis de Massiac, the French Naval Minister. Many early 19th-century sources claim that "Massac" was derived from a "massacre" that occurred at the site; but there is no record of such a massacre.Following the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, the French abandoned the fort and a band of Chickasaw burned it to the ground. When Captain Thomas Stirling, commander of the 42nd Highland Regiment, arrived to take possession for Britain, he found nothing but a charred ruin.The British never rebuilt the fort. In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, Col. George Rogers Clark led his regiment of “Long Knives” into Illinois near the fort at Massac Creek. In 1794, during the Northwest Indian War, President George Washington ordered the fort rebuilt, and for the next 20 years it protected U.S. military and commercial interests in the Ohio Valley.
Put Fort Massac State Park into our Metropolis trip itinerary builder to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Metropolis.
Create a full Metropolis itinerary

Plan your trip to Metropolis

  • 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.
  • Fort Massac Encampment need I say more. Awesome weekend in October. The food is good, the vendors are nice and have neat/period things, and the re-enactment is great for kids.  more »
  • Pre-revolutionarily war fort kind-a. It's a re-build 100 foot to the east of original site. Great re-build, to see how things were before America was America!!!! Hope IL can continue this re-building.  more »
  • Enjoyed our visit by hiking the wood and historic fort trail up the Ohio River edge. The visitor center was open, simple but new free exhibits on french and revoluntionary war history of the site. The...  more »
  • The fort, which is still in disrepair, has been surrounded with a fence to keep people out of the rotting mess it has become. No plans as of yet to have it fixed, I believe. So till then, the rest of the park is a very nice, clean, and historical valley and hill combination. Trails are rather modern, with the exception of a few being a bit overgrown. Great place for kids to go exploring, and an awesome place for family outings. Except for the riverfront. That's a dirty, smelly, rock-covered, man-made pile that has sewage buildup.
  • I love the place it's safe place. I wish forts would open so more people could see how people had to live back then. Great place to fish, hiking ,fresibie golf, bike riding, picnic, and places for kids to play and spits for clamping.
  • A great place to just take a lesurlie walk along the paths and even along the roads.
  • I was in the area and had time to enjoy some sites and had a picnic lunch there. Enjoyed the museum and learned some history!
  • Great place! The Encampment 2016 was fun with great food.