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Fort Defiance State Park

Located in southern Illinois in Alexander County, this park was, at one time, labeled "the ugliest park in America" and "the park nobody wants" due to its state of deterioration. Thanks in large part to the efforts of a concerned group of citizens in Cairo (about 2 miles north), the park has been restored to its former glory.

The fort occupied a strategic vantage point as well as providing a supply station for the North during the Civil War and was commanded by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Today, the "Boatmen's Memorial", which honors those who have lost their lives on the water, provides an awe-inspiring elevated view of the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River.

Location: SR 51, Cairo Illinois

Other Illinois State Parks nearby:
Eldon Hazlet State Park
Fort Defiance State Park
(East St. Louis)
Frank Holten State Park
Hamilton County State Park
(Granite City)
Horseshoe Lake State Park
Kaskaskia River State Park

02/18 Coming to The Cairo area
Historic Newburgh Wine, Art and Jazz Festival Newburgh IN May17-18 There will be non stop jazz, wonderful wines, great food, and the opportunity to browse and purchase local art. All of this overlooking the beautiful Ohio River at the Old Lock & Dam Park.
Belleville Art on the Square Belleville IL May17-19
Lower Town Arts and Music Festival Paducah KY May17-19 The Lower Town Arts and Music Festival in Paducah, Kentucky is THE regional Festival for Western Kentucky and the surrounding area. The Festival's mission is to celebrate the cultural richness of this part of the country.
International Horseradish Festival Collinsville IL May31-June2 Admission is always free, parking is always free and musical entertainment is always free at the Horseradish Festival.
Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival Henderson KY June12-15 The W.C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival has become one of the largest free music festivals in the nation, drawing attendants from just about every state and many countries. The festival is a celebration of the life and legacy of Henderson resident and 'Father of the Blues', William Christopher Handy.
Western Illinois Fair Griggsville IL June26-30 Loads of fun for the whole family. Food, entertainment, rides, games, agricultural exhibits, animals, commercial vendors, kids activities, plus a whole lot more.