The Hardin County area is unprecedented for its natural beauty and its rich and colorful history. The countryside is spectacular and the history of the area interesting and entertaining. This is a land of natural beauty unequaled anywhere in the State. Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, Hardin County’s scenic roads guide you along the Ohio River and through rolling hills with mysterious hollows, rocky bluffs, curious rock formations and hardwood forests.
Within this fascinating setting, visitors have their choice of numerous recreation sites including: Pounds Hollow, Rim Rock Trail, The River to River Trail, Garden of the Gods, High Knob Scenic View, Old Stone Face, Glen O. Jones Lake and Conservation Area, Tower Rock, Cave-In-Rock State park, Camp Cadiz and Illinois Iron Furnace. Camping, hiking, biking, fishing and hunting opportunities abound in this four seasons vacationland.
Hike our many trails, go for a swim, ride a horse, go fishing, have a picnic in our numerous parks, explore the shops, enjoy a vista, ride a bike, or watch a barge work its way against the current. You can also ride the only remaining ferry in Illinois operating on the Ohio River or take a scenic ride on the new river taxi, the “Shawnee Queen”.
The rolling countryside contains shelter bluffs, caves, panoramic scenic vistas, volcanic upthrusts and lovely natural areas hidden between the hills and hollows.
The Wisconsin glaciation stopped short of these hills preserving their unique geological character.
Famed Tecumseh and his brother, The Shawnee Prophet, trod the trails of the Southern Illinois forest. It was from these Native Americans that the hills in Southern Illinois got their name, a name shared with the Shawnee National Forest.
Do you enjoy a bit of history? Hardin County has it! Retrace the steps of Davy Crockett. Learn of pirates and counterfeiters… and even murder. See an old Illinois Iron furnace. Collect a bit of fluorspar, our state mineral. From historic caves to stately mansions, the historic river towns are full of surprises. Slow your pace and enjoy life in Hardin County, Illinois.