Randolph County - 12 Attractions You Must Visit
About Randolph County
Randolph County, Illinois is a peaceful rural landscape located in the Midwest. It boasts a population of 33,529 people, making it the 66th most populous county in the state. Randolph County offers a variety of activities to entertain and educate its visitors. From historical sites such as Fort Kaskaskia and the Trail of Tears State Forest to outdoorsy fun spots like Cedar Lake and Rend Lake, every traveler can find something special to do. Visitors also have access to some of the finest shoppin
Types of Attractions in Randolph County
List of Attractions in Randolph County
Lake/ River/ Ponds
Baldwin Lake is a stunning destination for nature enthusiasts. The lake has an area of 16 acres and is surrounded by a variety of natural wildlife, including bald eagles, ducks, geese and deer. At the center of the lake lies an island that's perfect for fishing or just enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. There are also miles of trails perfect for hiking, biking and horseback riding through oak woodlands and wetlands. It's a wonderful place to get away from it all while still being close to town.
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site is a stunning example of 18th century French Colonial military architecture. It is easily seen from the Mississippi River and features a palisade wall surrounding the historic stone fort that was built between 1753 and 1756. Visitors often marvel at the architectural feats achieved at this site; the hand-hewn creek timber posts, lintels, and sill pieces have withstood decades of time and weather storms.
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site, is truly a place of historical significance. It was the first seat of government in an area that would become the state of Illinois. Native Americans and European settlers lived together peacefully here during the 1700s. The site was later used as the headquarters for Major Pierre Menard when he became the first lieutenant governor of the state. Today, visitors can explore a small portion of this once-bustling frontier fort and learn about its storied past.
French Colonial Historic District
The French Colonial Historic District is rich with history, dating back to the early French settlement in the area. Located near the Kaskaskia River, this district encompasses over 1000 acres stretching from southern Prairie du Rocher to western Fort de Chartres. This district features some of the earliest examples of land division along a French-style grid and it contains original foundations, streets and plats from the 1700s. It's a great place to explore past lifestyles.
Fults Hill Prairie State Natural Area
Fults Hill Prairie State Natural Area, is a local treasure that offers a wide variety of outdoor experiences. This prairie preserve provides lush rolling terrain and unrivaled breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The 835-acre landscape contains diverse flora and fauna making it home to several species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Visitors can explore numerous miles of trails for peaceful hikes or bike rides. Picnic areas are provided for families.
The Kaskaskia Bell State Historic Site is an incredible reminder of a piece of American history. The bell is part of the historical bells from the early days of America and was originally cast in 1741 in France. It was given to a Catholic mission at Fort de Chartres in what is now southwestern Illinois and served as the Liberty Bell of the West. After being moved several times, it ended up at Fort Kaskaskia and then, years later, at Kaskaskia Village.
Kaskaskia Island was once the capital of the Illinois Territory and part of French Louisiana. It has a rich history, including being home to the first Catholic Church in Illinois. The island's population has diminished greatly over time and it is now mainly devoted to conservation, agriculture, recreation and tourism. Visitors today can enjoy fishing, boating, bird watching, etc. There are also re-enactment events to get a glimpse into the area's past with French settlers from centuries ago.
Mary's River Covered Bridge
Mary's River Covered Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its historical value. Built sometime around 1880, this bridge is a single-span Burr arch truss structure covered with wooden boards and tin sheeting. It spans 88 feet over the Mary's River and is one of the few remaining structures of its kind in the area. This old-fashioned bridge is still open to vehicle traffic every day, providing a unique look into Randolph County's past.
Modoc Rock Shelter National Historic Site
The Modoc Rock Shelter National Historic Site is a prime example of archaeological history. It comprises a rock shelter that was excavated in 1934 by Henry W. Weller and his team, where they uncovered artifacts which date back to 12,000 years ago. Visitors are able to learn more about the lives of the original inhabitants and how they were adapted to their environment; examining topics such as how they utilised stone tools to hunt and fish, as well as what kind of diet they ate.
Pierre Menard Home State Historic Site provides visitors a glimpse into life on the Illinois frontier. The original house was built near the French settlement of Kaskaskia by Pierre Menard in 1815, and later expanded by this prominent settler. Visitors to the site can explore Menard's home and other buildings that make up this important historic district. The plantation also offers insight into life during the early years of American History with its history walks and numerous artifacts.
Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve Trailhead and Parking
Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve is a unique treasure in the heart of the Midwest. It provides 134 acres of natural habitat of plants and wildlife that do not exist anywhere else. Visitors can witness a variety of different ecosystems from woodlands to wetlands. Many species of birds can be found, as well as white-tailed deer, raccoons, coyotes and turkey. It also features an extensive network of trails, complete with bridges and boardwalks over wet areas.
Randolph County State Recreation Area
Randolph County State Recreation Area with over 1,500 acres of beautiful terrain and lush forests, there are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy including fishing, camping, hiking, hunting or just relaxing. Visitors can explore its three stocked lakes, enjoy a scenic picnic area or take advantage of its five miles of trails that meander through the park's wildlife refuge. The park also offers a one-stop shop for outdoor activities ranging from mountain biking to disc golf.