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Ohio River Scenic Route - Illinois

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Ohio River Scenic Route - Illinois
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Quick Facts
Designation: Illinois State Scenic Byway
Designation: National Scenic Byway
Fees: There are no fees along the byway proper.
Length, One-Way: 188 Miles (313.33 Kilometers)
Time: 8-10 hours

General Information

Description - This byway's history is closely tied to the Ohio River that it follows. For instance, there are many strategically placed forts from the Civil War and the French and Indian War along this route. There are also many sites from the Underground Railroad along this byway. Also, this is where you can find the Cave-in-Rock, an enormous cave that was once home to river pirates. It is now a great vantage point from which to watch today's river traffic.

The outstanding scenery found along this byway is largely due to the river. For example, areas near the river offer winter homes for thousands of Canada geese. Also, because of the river and the Shawnee National Forest that the byway goes through, there are plenty of places to picnic, camp, boat, fish, hike, and hunt.

Attractions - The Ohio River Scenic Route - Illinois is known for it's Archeology, Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.

Climate - Illinois experiences four distinct seasons with varying weather throughout the year. Winter can be very cold. The highest humidity of the year occurs during this season averaging 70 to 75 percent. Average low temperatures in January dip to 20 degrees F with highs near 35 degrees F. Spring temperatures are mild with humidity below 70 percent. Temperatures during this season average between 32 and 50 degrees F. Summer is usually hot and humid in this Midwest state. Low temperatures remain in the low sixties with high temperatures near 90 degrees F. The highest rainfall of the year occurs during the summer months. Fall is an excellent time to visit the state with low humidity and rainfall and moderate temperatures.

Location -

Directions from : The byway itself winds from Saline and Gallatin counties on State Route 146, following the Ohio River south through Hardin and Pope counties. It then travels westward through Massac and Pulaski counties before literally emptying into the Ohio and Mississippi rivers at Cairo.

To get to the byway, begin at the Indiana/Illinois border 20 miles west of Evansville on Illinois Route 141/Indiana Route 62. From Chicago, take Interstate 57 south to Cairo, then take Exit 1 to U.S. Route 60/62 for the western end of the byway route.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Ohio River Scenic Route - Illinois
ICON Viewing Scenery Ohio River Scenic Route - Illinois

More Information

Contact Information:
Ohio River Scenic Route - Illinois , , , , Phone: 618-845-3777

Additional Information:
Illinois Scenic Byways - Illinois has five National Scenic Byways: The Lincoln Highway, Illinois' Great River Road, The Ohio River Scenic Route, Illinois' National Road, and the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Route.
Southern Illinois Travel Region -

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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