Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis

4.2
#12 of 38 in Nature in Illinois
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.
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Fort Massac State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
127 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It's the first state park of Illinois. Lots of history. Campground is clean and quiet. Plenty to see. Beautiful atmosphere. Highly recommend  more »
  • To experience the real beauty and adventure that awaits you at Fort Massac State Park - you must be an explorer - because the real beauty and mystery awaits you down the many hiking trails - along the...  more »
  • Well preserved very old wood buildings on sprawling very green grass surrounded by a lovely park overlooking the river. Great place to walk and bike, sightsee and take pictures.  more »
Google
  • Illinois' first state park: Always clean and well kept grounds, rest rooms, and public buildings. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Great historical interpretive museum, many informative plaques. Large well kept boat launch to access the Ohio River with large trailer parking area. Nice camp grounds with facilities. There is also a disk golf course.
  • A wonderful place full of history! The reenactments are a lot of fun for the whole family and the vendors always sell great food and gifts!
  • Nice bike trail. I hope one day they can connect it to the others in the region.
  • Excellent state park. No entry fee. Multiple small play areas. A lot of picnic tables. An excellent place to walk by the river, also excellent to just stroll around in a quiet beautiful environment. Restrooms are clean.sadly it is difficult to catch the museum open, which is a waste, it's an excellent museum to be so small.
  • Very nice park .There are a lot of interesting things to do. Nice trails and picnic areas .The Encampment is the best. A lot of fun for all

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