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Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis

4.1
#10 of 36 in Nature in Illinois
State Park Nature / 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.
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4.5
  • I did NOT visit Ft. Massac State Park on this visit to the area; however, as I have been there on previous trips to Southern Illinois, I can truthfully say that it is a great re-creation of the Fort, ...  more »
  • I went to Fort Massac State Park for a quick visit after seeing the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL. It was cool to see the forts and to get a sense of what life was like back then. I had hoped to w...  more »
  • The State of Illinois needs to fund the grants needed to update some of the fort facilities. But it's a great place to learn the history of the fort and about George Rogers Clark. It has river front a...  more »
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  • Very peaceful and well kept. Nice view of Ohio River from the old fort. Electric only at the camp sites.
  • Great green space. ASA 3D Archery range, hosted S3DA Nationals 3D tournament here, June 17 &18, 2017. Really enjoyed our time here.
  • Kids really liked it. Plenty of picnic tables. Great place for a picnic
  • This park has a replica of the old fort that you can explore. They have a museum if you are a history buff. Plenty of fishing, camping, bike trails, hike trails, and just a great area to spend the day and relax!
  • We have visited the park many times with our kids, but this year we all attended the Rendezvous! It was absolutely spectacular! We WILL be back next year.