In my constant quest to find somewhere to exercise while traveling, I hit up google to try and find a good hiking trail near me. Just a few miles from my hotel was Fort Massac State Park and their “shouldn’t be missed” 2.5 mile long Hickory Nut Ridge Trail. This looked perfect so I headed over to the State Park.
Fort Massac State Park is located in southern Illinois on the north bank of the Ohio River. There is some interesting history to be learned I am sure as it was originally a French fort during the French and Indian War in the mid 1700’s and later in 1803, Lewis & Clark spent time here recruiting men for their upcoming expedition.
Welcome to Fort Massac State Park
I pulled right into the State Park and headed to the Visitor’s Center. It was closed (4:45pm?), but free parking and no park entrance fee so that was good. I noticed that they seemed to have a bit of a flooding problem also in the surrounding wooded areas. Directly between the Visitor’s Center and the Ohio River was the remains of Fort Massac. I went and checked out the old French Fort and checked out the river. You couldn’t go inside the fort so that was a bummer.
Statue of George Clark near the Fort
I then tried to find the trailhead but couldn’t find it. Finally after asking a few of the locals walking on the roadway, I realized that the trail was pretty much underwater as the Ohio River had flooded it out. Disappointed, I decided to walk through the campground and get my exercise that way. I was able to find part of a trail system including possibly part of the “shouldn’t be missed” Hickory Nut Ridge Trail, but despite which way I traversed the trail I would eventually end up at a flooded area.
The Hickory Nut Ridge Trailhead has seen better days
Another trail under water
Finally found some trail not underwater
Fort Massac State Park was interesting and I hope to be able to make it back when it is completely open. I am sure the Visitor’s Center would have more information about the history of this fort and I would like to see the entirety of the Hickory Nut Ridge Trail also. Thanks for reading. rk