ome on down, or up as the case may be.
Genealogy is interesting, but you need to see the old homeplace or cemetery with your
own eyes. Hardin County may be one of the smallest counties in the state, in terms of
both population and physical size, but it has to be one of the most scenic and historic.
The Shawnee National Forest covers much of the county with approximately 20 percent of the
land owned by the U.S. Forest Service. The State of Illinois owns smaller sites at Cave-in-Rock
State Park and the Rose Hotel State Historic Site.
If your ancestors came to Hardin County from just about anywhere, they probably crossed the Ohio
River at one of the many ferry locations. The best way to get an idea of what that was like is to
take a trip on the Shawnee Queen, the local river taxi started by
Rides Mass Transit District last August. In 2002, the plans are to offer two-hour tours starting
in Rosiclare. The first will go downriver from Rosiclare to Golconda and back. The second will go upriver
from Rosiclare to Cave-in-Rock and back. Of course, spend some extra time and take the car ferry
across the river at Cave-in-Rock as well.
As far as lodging goes, Hardin County doesn't have any chain motel, but it does have a
number of smaller lodges and rooms available, many with views of the Ohio River. Here is a
short list that I know is not complete as there are some new sites just developing.
Read Chameleon Illinois for a description of the Illinois on the Ohio National Scenic Byway which runs through Hardin County.
Lodging the list starts at Cave-in-Rock and goes downriver.
Hardin County also has some wonderful hiking trails including the eastern leg of the River to River Trail that stretches from Grand Tower on the Mississippi to Battery Rock on the Ohio River