Illinois, Pulaski County, Grand Chain
river mile 958
This pleasant location, just off the wonderfully named Tick Ridge Road, would be a good destination for a Midwestern rural retreat, especially if one had a boat to enjoy the Ohio River. Retreat because it’s a lodge and cabins and campground, suitably quiet, right on the river. But the landscape is not forest or prairie or desert. It’s Midwestern: a pleasing rural landscape with expansive fields of corn and soybeans and mowed pasture. An adjacent vineyard seems to be defunct. At first the place seems abandoned: no cars in the parking lot, shades down on the cabins. But it’s not: there’s a sign on the door with prices and a cellphone number to contact the person responsible, who’s working at the brick house up the road. On this midweek afternoon in June the campground is about two-thirds full, with camping trailers and kids’ bikes parked next to them. The restrooms are clean and include showers. Clearly people do come here to enjoy the place.
Bison crossed here at this wide, shallow, rocky place, before the construction of the locks and dams. A plaque on the river side of the lodge records how the local residents, native Americans, drove out the French, Western Europeans who despoiled these valuable spiritual and economic resources when they encountered them in this landscape of abundance.
Bicyclists or paddlers would have no difficulty getting here or staying in any of the lodgings, and a boat ramp enables access from the water. The nearest services are in Metropolis, Illinois, about 18 miles away.
Next park: Olmsted Locks and Dam Visitor Overlook
Field research June 2018