Tourist Attractions In Southern Illinois - If you're worried about finding lots of exciting things to do in Southern Illinois, worry no more. There is so much to do and so much to see. And learn.
For example, did you know that Southern Illinois is known as Little Egypt? I tried to find out why and got different answers from different sources. This means that no one knows why.
Tourist Attractions In Southern Illinois
First of all, it is very beautiful, with huge forests, big rivers, waterfalls and nature reserves. It is also very old and has one of the largest archaeological sites in the world. Whatever your interests, you will find things to do in Southern Illinois.
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Ferne Clyffe State Park is one mile south of Goreville and 12 miles from Marion. It is an oasis of 2,430 hectares known for its great diversity of plants and fantastic opportunities for relaxation and recreation.
There are 700 species of plants, mysterious dense shady forests full of ferns and unique geological formations that make this park a great destination for a weekend or an extended vacation.
The best time to enter the park is in autumn when the trees put on a spectacular colorful display.
The incredible beauty and diversity of the ecosystems make this park a great place for hiking - there is something beautiful to see around every bend of the trail. The most popular trails are the Big Rocky Hollow, Happy Hollow, Cedar Bluff trail and the enchanting Bork's waterfall.
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There are all kinds of campsites: primitive, modern, for groups of young people, for backpackers and riders. Some campgrounds only offer seasonal showers. You can book some campsites through ExploreMoreIL.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is located on 44,000 acres near Marion in southwest Williamson County to protect the varied local wildlife, especially migratory birds.
You will also find an artificial pond where migrating waterfowl rest and feed. The lake offers a great opportunity for bird watching and photography, so if you enjoy doing this, plan your visit to go with the birds. The shelter is also popular with fishermen, who come all year round.
The Refuge is also rich in wildlife and it is quite common to find white-tailed deer and wild turkeys.
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The most popular activities are hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and photography. On the lake you can paddle in a kayak or canoe, but motorized boats are not allowed.
It also has a Visitor Center at 8588 Route 148 in Marion, open daily from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The visitor center has exhibits on local wildlife and habitats. The rangers often host interpretive programs, family outdoor programs, and environmental education programs.
Egypt Lake, just south of Marion, is a picturesque reservoir created in 1962 after the South Fork of the Saline River was dammed. Lake has 90 miles of shoreline.
Located six miles south of Marion, Illinois, Lake Egypt covers 2,300 acres with 90 miles of shoreline. The lake is owned by Southern Illinois Power Cooperative.
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The lake is a popular destination for motorboats of all sizes, as well as water skiing and jet skiing. It has three marinas. Anglers come for Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Striped Bass and Crappie.
Garden of the Gods is the name of the wilderness, recreation area, and one of the most popular hikes in Southern Illinois. It is part of the Shawnee National Forest.
Garden of the Gods' Trail takes you past some uniquely fascinating sandstone rock formations. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding God's Desert Garden.
Interpretive signs along the trail tell the story of the geological history of the area. The most interesting formation is called the Camel Rock.
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The recreation area around the trail is ideal for picnics, wildlife watching, or camping. The campsite is open all year round.
The Tunnel Hill State Trail is a very popular 45 mile long bike trail between Eldorado and Karnak, Illinois. The trail follows the former bottom of part of the Cairo and Vincennes Railroad.
Along this picturesque passage, motorcyclists can enjoy dark tunnels, rushing streams and green wooded cliffs. Sometimes they even encounter local wild animals.
The trail continues for 2.5 miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area (Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center) on the Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad bed.
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Cypress Creek Wildlife Refuge is a fair bayou in the heart of Illinois. This 6,000-acre refuge is home to cypress swamps and wetlands and some of the oldest trees east of the Mississippi River.
Located approximately 22 miles north of Cairo, Illinois, the refuge was established in 1990 to protect this unique habitat.
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge is home to many species of waterfowl and migratory birds and some endangered species and wildlife such as Indiana bats and Protonotary Warbler.
The shelter is a popular tourist destination. Visitors enjoy hunting, fishing, boating, bird watching and photography. The best view of the entire shelter is from the Bellrose viewing platform.
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The 200-acre Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is a park near Chester, Illinois, at the confluence of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. It is built on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is a popular camping spot as it is located along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.
Fort Kaskaskia was originally a French settlement built in the 18th century. In 1803, the Lewis and Clark expedition picked up eleven other men in this place to join them.
Tourists enjoy views of the Mississippi River and can explore the grounds of Fort Kaskaskia. They can also visit the Garrison Hill Cemetery, which was established in 1891.
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There are picnic tables and a covered tent that overlooks the Mississippi River. There is also a great camping site.
From the bottom of the cliff, a path leads to the historic Pierre Menard House of 1815, beautifully restored, a classic example of the French Creole style of architecture. The house is furnished with original antique furniture.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is a 2,200-acre pre-Columbian archaeological site located between East St. Louis and Collinsville. Cahokia Mounds is the largest American archaeological site north of Mexico.
In 1250 AD, this fascinating pre-Columbian Indian city is believed to have been larger than present-day London.
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What remains of the once thriving ancient city are only 80 earthen mounds, covered with grass and wild flowers. The largest is Monks Mound, also the largest prehistoric pottery structure in the Americas.
To learn more about the history of Cahokia and its inhabitants, visit the museum and interpretive center, open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Cahokia Mounds is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The outdoor area is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.
Located in Hartford, Illinois, The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site commemorates Camp River Dubois, the winter camp where the Lewis and Clark Expedition stayed from December 1803 to May 1804.
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From this Corps of Discovery camp, the members began a journey to the Pacific Ocean. The camp is also called The Starting Point.
The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site consists of a 14,000 square foot Interpretive Center, a reconstructed original Settlers' Cabin, and a faithfully reconstructed Camp River Dubois.
The Interpretive Center has an exhibition space with galleries that tell the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition and its significance for America today.
On site near the visitor center is the renovated Camp Dubois winter camp. On-site interpreters explain more about the story.
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Whether you like beer or not, this place is a must visit. Scratch Brewing Company is a brewery, farm and restaurant located about five miles from the Shawnee National Forest in Ava, Illinois.
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The rustic farmhouse surrounded by so much natural beauty is breathtakingly beautiful and once you add beer to that, it becomes the star of your trip.
Scratch Brewing Company makes farmhouse ales and other beers brewed with homegrown, locally grown and locally harvested ingredients.
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They brew their beers in a traditional style. They enhance them by adding innovative local ingredients including nettle, ginger, elderberry, dandelion, maple and a variety of other additions.
Outside Magazine named Scratch Brewery one of the top four breweries making or looking for beer. All About Beer Magazine called Scratch Brewing "one of the most beautiful places in the world to drink beer".
They are open Friday and Saturday from 1 pm to 8 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 6 pm. Their address is 264 Thompson Rd, Ava, IL 62907, and their phone number is 618-426-1415. Check out their website and Facebook for more information.
Southern Illinois has more than 50 wineries and you can visit them by following one of two official itineraries.
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Shawnee Hills Wine Trail of Southern Illinois is Illinois' oldest wine trail established in 1995. They started with only three wineries willing to share their wonderful wines with visitors. Today, the Shawnee trail includes 11 wineries and they expect the number to grow.
The trail takes you through the beautiful landscape of southern Illinois. Each of the wineries, charming small towns along the trail, and unique local restaurants have
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