RV Camping Guide to Cave in Rock State Park
With summer break now in full effect, it’s time to think about a little family time to create memories and explore the state of Illinois. Cave in Rock State Park is located in Hardin County, Illinois in the town of Cave-in-Rock. The state park that contains the historic Cave-In-Rock landmark just on the Ohio River. In addition to the natural splendor of the cave itself, the park also contains hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, fishing, and camping for your visit there. Check out this amazing complete RV camping guide for everything you need to know about visiting Cave in Rock State Park.
Located just 6 hours northwest from Chicago’s city limits, Cave in Rock State Park is the awe-inspiring spot for natural formations and awe-inspiring views. Atop the high bluffs overlooking the Ohio River, is a heavily wooded park named for the 55-foot-wide cave that was carved out of limestone rock by water thousands of years ago. Floods and glacial meltwater are credited with this natural wonder following the Wisconsin ice age. A tunnel is eroded into the bluff.
For thousands of years, Native Americans knew of this place. The first European did not discover it until 1729 where it was named the Cave Bears by M. de Lery of France. It wasn’t until decades later that this place reached its height in notoriety, later leading to the first settlers forming the river town of Cave-In-Rock, Illinois near the cave of its namesake. Read throughout our complete RV camping guide for more things you need to know before you make your visit to Cave in Rock State Park.
Cave in Rock State Park Facts
This 204 acre state park in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois was established in 1929. It was preciously a cave used by river pirates in the 1790s before becoming the site of a river ferry later in the 19th century. With the inauguration of the steamboat and ongoing traffic on the Ohio River in the early 1810s, travelers came to recognize Cave-In-Rock as a landmark for tourism ever since. It wasn’t until is initial 64.5 acres of land purchase by the state of Illinois in 1929 that this cave became a part of a growing park and ongoing wonder. The state park now stretches from the river’s edge to the top of the adjacent 60-foot-tall bluff. With several hundred thousand tourists flocking to this tiny Ohio village to visit this massive cave each year, here are some interesting Cave in Rock Start Park facts to know before you make your next visit.
- Walt Disney Productions used the site for the 1956 Davy Crockett adventure, ‘Davy Crockett and the River Pirates.’
- The surrounding Cave-In-Rock village became a refuge for frontier outlaws, river pirates, thieves, gamblers, and highway bandits.
- The primary feature of the cave’s 55-foot-wide opening was formed by the cataclysmic effects of the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes.
- A 100-foot vertical fissure leads to the top of the entrance forming a natural chimney.
- Abundant wildlife lives nearby to include deer, raccoon, opossum, and the occasion bald eagle.
Best Cave in Rock State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Our handpicked list below gives you some of the best Cave In Rock State Park RV park locations to choose for your next visit.
Cave in Rock Campgrounds
In addition to the Cave-in-Rock Lodge and Restaurant, there are camping accommodations available on the scenic north side of the park. There are 34 Class A sites available as well as 25 Class B and tent sites available. All amenities include showers, restrooms, and dump sites at each camping area. Accessible sites are also made available as well as grills furnished at each campsite location.
Address: 1 New State Park Rd., Cave-In-Rock, IL 62919
Phone: (618) 289-4325
Things to Do in Cave in Rock State Park
With a beautifully scenic 204-acre park, visitors can boat, camp, fish, and picnic in a variety of scenic views of the park and river. Garden of the Gods is one of the main attractions in the area for rock climbing to hiking trails. There is also Camel Rock which was featured on the 2016 Illinois State Quarter. Nearby is an 18-hole golf course, Kentucky’s Amish Country, and free Ferry Ride along the Ohio River. Here is a look at some of the most popular things you can do with a visit to Cave in Rock State Park.
Boating and Fishing:
An available pond and the Ohio River provide excellent opportunities for fishing, boating, and water sports. The river has two boat ramps with adjacent parking on the western edge of the park.
With more than 34 Class A sites available with electricity, these sites can accommodate units up to 60 feet long. There are an addition 25 Class B and tent sites available with showers, restrooms, and dumping stations present along with a grill finished at each campsite.
In addition to the natural splendor of the cave itself, there are two established hiking trails of moderate difficult located in the park. In addition, numerous unmarked trails can be followed for exploration and an increased appreciate of tranquil forests and inspiring views.
For the day visitor, ample parking is found in any one of the five separate lots. There are three developed playground areas for children and shaded picnic areas located throughout with provided tables and grills. Four large picnic shelters can be used for group gatherings.
The Ohio River provides a great opportunity for a scenic boat ride. You can visit the Golconda Marina located on the river near Golconda Lake. A full-service marine and overnight moorage of up to 100 ships is available both covered and open. Slips have electric and water hookups. Marina services include repair, boat lifts, fuel, sanitary pump outs, and dry storage. Multiple free launch ramps are available along with parking for cars and trailers, a snack shop, gift shop, and boat and tackle shop.
Dine at the full-service restaurant located at Cave-In-Rock Restaurant. It has gained a reputation for fine southern-style cooking and has plenty of homemade specialties on the menu ranging from roast beef, southern fried catfish, and shrimp.
Tips for Visiting Cave in Rock State Park
Before you start on your trip, these final tips on visiting Cave in Rock State Park will ensure you have a smooth and relaxing trip.
- While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park’s facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
- At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
- The Cave in Rock Lodge is the perfect site for family vacations, couple getaway, or family reunions.
- Do some bird watching throughout the state park. The view can’t be beat.
- We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
RV Rental for Cave in Rock State Park
If you are looking for a fun and easy way to enjoy a quick getaway to this historic natural wonder, check out our fleet of RV Rentals. Our RV lineup is perfect for any budget and loaded with the necessities and conveniences you look for to make your journey as fun as the destination.
Reserve a Cave in Rock State Park RV rental today.