Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis

4.1
#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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
115 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • July 22, 2017
    The museum for the fort was well thought out and arranged. It includes many many artifacts from the excavations and provides a good overview of the area and the fort's history. The Fort itself was dis...  more »
  • July 19, 2017
    We only stopped for a picnic during a long road trip. It was a gorgeous park with lots of trees, picnic tables, squirrels... We didn't even realize there were so many things to do here - looks like we...  more »
  • July 3, 2017
    Neat historical place. The vision center is decent as most state parks go. I would like to see more done with the actual Fort site though. But with Illinois' budget and corrupt government understand w...  more »
Google
  • July 4, 2017
    Very peaceful and well kept. Nice view of Ohio River from the old fort. Electric only at the camp sites.
  • June 20, 2017
    Great green space. ASA 3D Archery range, hosted S3DA Nationals 3D tournament here, June 17 &18, 2017. Really enjoyed our time here.
  • July 1, 2017
    Kids really liked it. Plenty of picnic tables. Great place for a picnic
  • May 16, 2017
    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!
  • June 11, 2017
    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.

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