Illinois, Pope County, Golconda
river mile 903
Go up to the top of the levee in Golconda, look downriver, and you’ll see a sign for the Lock 51 Park. Campsites are available by inquiry at the city office. Drive along for about a mile. The narrow road is squeezed in between the cliffs of the bluff on one side and the river on the other. Along it are a few small paved campsites with electricity and ancient picnic tables and trash bins. Towards the end, on the right, is what was probably the powerhouse for the locks. Next to it three or four lockkeepers houses, perched on the cliff, and available for rent. Nice touch! No RV or trailer should venture in here: there’s a small turnabout towards the beginning, but there’s none at the end. Bicyclists and paddlers could easily camp here. There’s a portapotty but no water, and there’s a slice of a place where small tents could be erected next to the flagpole. Paddlers would have a steep pull up from the river on the narrow, decrepit boat ramp, but there’s a generous one farther upstream below the levee. Golconda has a restaurant and a gas station, so there are a few supplies available.
Next park: Smithland Locks and Dam
Field research June 2018