Pope County - 7 Attractions You Must Visit
About Pope County
Pope County, Illinois is a beautiful rural county located in the southeastern region of the state. It boasts rolling hills, open valleys and farmland perfect for outdoor activities. The county seat is Golconda, which dates back to the late 1800s when it was home to merchants, railroad tycoons and riverboat gamblers. Since then, Pope County has become an agricultural hub with many successful farmers growing corn, soybeans and other commodities. The county also has a large Amish population that br
Types of Attractions in Pope County
List of Attractions in Pope County
Burden Falls is one of the Midwest's most beloved natural attractions. Located in the Shawnee National Forest, Burden Falls features cascading waterfalls up to 75 feet high, with the multi-tiered falls embedded in a picturesque sandstone woodland. Visitors can spot an abundance of wildlife from eagles soaring overhead to deer on the trails, as well as various fish species found in pools at the base of the falls. For those looking for an extra adventure, a 25-mile hiking loop is available.
Cave-In-Rock State Park
Cave-In-Rock State Park offers a unique and remarkable experience to any nature enthusiast. Situated along the Ohio River, this state park is popular for its namesake, a fascinating landmark featured on the Register of National Natural Landmarks. This 55 feet tall cave was formed by wave erosion of the river and offers incredible panoramic views of the surrounding area from both inside and outside it. Visitors can also explore many nearby trails that lead to the many waterfalls.
Dixon Springs State Park
Dixon Springs State Park is a beautiful nature preserve and outdoor recreation destination. Located on the Ohio River, it offers visitors the opportunity to explore its trails, streams, and scenic vista views. Visitors can enjoy activities ranging from fishing and boating to camping, picnicking and hiking. Several shelters are provided for special events, like family reunions or educational outings.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area offers something for nature-lovers of all ages. This 175,000-acre wildlife refuge is backdropped by the beautiful Tennessee River and surrounded by lush forested hills of oak, pine, and cypress. Visitors are treated to a variety of activities like camping, hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, and horseback riding. More adventurous types can explore historic sites like the Golden Pond Planetarium & Observatory.
Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve
Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve offers plenty of outdoor activities and stunning views. Situated in the Shawnee National Forest, the spectacular natural area includes a variety of pristine habitats from limestone canyons to rocky terrain, meadows, marshlands and forests. Miles of hiking trails throughout the preserve traverse hills and dales with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and overlooks for spectacular sunrises or sunsets.
Mantle Rock Preserve
Mantle Rock Preserve, is a place where outdoor enthusiasts can appreciate the beauty of nature. It features steep bluffs with great views that overlook dense woodlands and open prairies. The preserve is home to many species of nesting birds, mammals including white-tailed deer, turkeys, and foxes. There are over 6 miles of trails for hikers and mountain bikers to explore. Mantle Rock Preserve boasts an amazing array of wildflowers in the springtime.
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site is an archaeological site located in the Pope County area of Illinois and it was a former Native American village from approximately 1000 AD to 1350 AD. The largest feature at this location is a 15-foot-tall stone burial mound that is believed to have been a ceremonial observatory. Within the nearby village, archeologists have discovered early sculptures, utensils, tools, and other items that were used by the people who once inhabited the area.