Cave-in-Rock Ferry

Illinois, Hardin County, Cave-in-Rock

river mile 881

881 IL Hardin Cave in Rock ferry sign 600 8 high

Riding on a ferry is one of the few ways a person can get onto the waters of the Ohio River without owning one’s own boat. This is one of the two ferries across the Ohio: the one at Sistersville is the other. (The boat tours at Pittsburgh, the occasional cruise ship, motorboat rentals at some marinas, and the few canoe and kayak rentals are the others.) It’s always a pleasure. The research team did not take it this time, but we have in the past. We note that the town on the other side, Marion, Kentucky, is enough inland, 12 miles, that the casual ferry traveller might as well just take a picnic and just wait on the other side until the ferry is ready to come back. The ferry is free: it is operated by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Seven days a week, 6:00am to 9:30pm at this writing. There are two ferries. One was laid up for repairs when we visited.

In addition to the acreage of the ferry waiting area the site also includes a small mowed grassy area under tall deciduous trees, marked as a campground and with a modern playground and benches facing the river. Bicyclists and paddlers would have no difficulty tent camping here, but the amenities in the village of Cave-in-Rock are limited and seem to be open mostly on weekends.

Next park: Tower Rock Campground

Field research June 2018