Family Vacations and Outdoor Recreation

in the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers region

  • State-of-the-art visitor centers, museums and attractions that bring alive the epic adventure
  • Beautiful state parks and recreation areas for the perfect getaway
  • Big city shows and riverside festivals
  • Colorful historic reenactments
  • Arts and crafts and bluegrass music
  • Miles and miles of hiking and biking trails along scenic rivers
  • Amusement parks and water parks for the whole family

Catch the Spirit of the Lewis and Clark Expedition for a Great Family Vacation!

Scroll down the page for a great list of attractions along the Ohio River region of the Lewis and Clark Trail.


Attractions By State


 1. Pittsburgh

After the Revolutionary War, Pittsburgh was called the Gateway to the American West. It was here that the keel boat for the Lewis and Clark Expedition was launched on Aug. 31, 1803. Visitors can get a sweeping view of the city when they ride the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mt. Washington, where they look down on the Golden Triangle… the confluence of the Ohio, Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. The Gateway Clipper Fleet provides sightseeing cruises on the three rivers for closer views of the city. Kayak and paddleboat tours are also available. The 24-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail System serves hike and bike visitors. Pittsburgh’s heritage attractions include Point State Park located at the confluence of the three rivers at the tip of Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle.

Cannon in front of Fort Pitt Museum

The park is a National Historical Landmark and commemorates the history of Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt that played a role in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The reconstructed Monongahela Bastion houses the Fort Pitt Museum. The Senator John Heinz History Center tells the story of American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection in a six-story museum. Kennywood Amusement Park is fun for the whole family. Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History features one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur fossils. The Frick Pittsburgh is a cluster of museums and historic buildings which stand as a prime example of the Gilded Age in America.

School group at museum fossil display

The Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village near Avella is the oldest site of human habitation in North America. The Fort Ligonier Museum, about an hour outside of Pittsburgh in Ligonier features the Washington Exhibition and a rare George Washington Collection.

2. Raccoon Creek State Park

Located west of Pittsburgh on US 30. The park features the 100-acre Racoon Lake and a mix of modern and rustic facilities with group camps built during the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps era.

Colonial soldier display)

3. Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Located southeast of Uniontown on US 40, the historic fort served as the prelude to the French and Indian War before the Revolution. George Washington built the fort’s road in 1754 and it was used by General Braddock and called the Braddock Road. The park is open for day use and includes a Visitor Interpretive Center at Fort Necessity and a museum at the Mount Washington Tavern.

4. Ohiopyle State Park

This large park on PA 381 serves as a gateway to the rugged natural beauty of the Laurel Highlands. The visitor center is an activity hub where visitors can enjoy picnics, backpacking, river trips and two natural waterslides.

Visit our Partner’s websites for more information on Pennsylvania.


Ornate Capitol Theater stage

5. Wheeling

Located on I-70 at the middle of West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Visitors can follow a walking trail to West Virginia Independence Hall, the state’s birthplace. The Capitol Theatre is home to the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. It also presents Broadway shows. The Victoria Theater is the oldest operating theater in West Virginia. Oglebay Resort features museums and a zoo and attracts visitors throughout the year. The Centre Market Historic District, the Wheeling Artisan Centre and the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum add to the area’s unique visitor destinations. West of the city is Wheeling Island, the largest populated island on the Ohio River, featuring Victorian architecture, a historic district and a casino and greyhound racetrack.

6. The Grave Creek Mound

This ancient historic site near Moundsville was built by the Adena people 2,200 years ago. The large mound is adjacent to the Archaeological Complex at 801 Jefferson Avenue. Meriwether Lewis stopped here and studied the mound in detail. The Delf Norona Museum provides interpretive exhibits.

Antique playroom

7. Parkersburg

Visitors won’t want to miss Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park accessible by sternwheeler riverboat from Parkersburg. Visitors to the island can enjoy a guided tour of the beautifully reconstructed Blennerhassett Mansion, a scenic horse-drawn covered wagon ride and other activities. The park’s museum tells the story of the area from its early Native American inhabitants onward. The Julia-Ann Square Historic District features the 19th Century homes of pioneer oil barons. The Smoot Theater is a restored 1926 vaudeville house that still hosts a wide variety of shows. Henderson Hall, just north of Parkersburg, is one of America’s finest historic homes with artifacts passed down through five generations. Visitors may stay at the Historic Blennerhassett Hotel and enjoy fine wines at nearby Wine Tree Vineyards.

8. Point Pleasant

The area includes Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, memorializing battles with the Shawnee Indians before the Revolutionary War. Nearby is Fort Randolph featuring a reconstructed Revolutionary War log stockade and blockhouse.

Rustic Heritage Farm

9. Huntington

The brilliantly lit suspension bridge over the Ohio River is an inviting gateway to the city’s array of heritage attractions. For starters, there’s the Keith Albee Theater with its spectacular proscenium, the Marshall Memorial Fountain, the Huntington Museum of Art, and the handblown glass artistry of the Blenko Glass Company. Heritage Farms celebrate the state’s Appalachian heritage and culture with the Museums of Progress, Transportation, Industry, Heritage, and the Bowes Doll and Carriage Museums. Visitors can stay in one of the log bed and breakfast structures and enjoy the country store, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse and children’s museum plus a farm petting zoo. Families will also enjoy the fun of Camden Park Amusement Park with a wooden roller coaster and an old-time carousel.

Visit our Partner’s websites for more information on West Virginia.


(old time colonial building interior

10. Steubenville

Located west of Pittsburgh on US 22 and on the Ohio River Scenic Byway, Ohio 7. Historic Fort Steuben has been rebuilt as it was in 1786-87 when it served to protect the surveyors of the Northwest Territory. The fort was named for George Washington’s famous drillmaster. The fort’s exhibits show the everyday lives of soldiers on the early American Frontier. Additional exhibits include local Native American history and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Adjacent to the fort is the Steubenville Visitor Center and the restored First Federal Land Office west of the Allegheny Mountains. Steubenville is filled with history including the Jefferson County Mansion Museum, 17 historical churches and 25 Steubenville Murals providing a colorful look at the city’s history. During the Christmas season, the Steubenville Nutcracker Village offers a memorable experience. or

Adventure Creek women’s group

11. Belmont County

Located west of Wheeling on I-70. Martin’s Ferry is Ohio’s oldest European settlement, dating back to at least 1779. Bridgeport is a gateway to Ohio’s National Road. Bellaire features the National Imperial Glass Museum. For outdoor enthusiasts, St. Clairsville offers the National Road Bikeway and the obstacle courses and ziplines at Adventure Creek. St. Clairsville is also the home of the Belmont County Heritage Museum featuring exhibits on the history of the cities and villages in the area. West of St. Clairsville is Barkcamp State Park is in a historically significant region that today offers visitors the chance to camp in woodlands and paddle in the 117-acre lake. The Underground Railroad Museum is in Flushing. Nearby is the Egypt Valley Wildlife Area, a 14,300-acre conservation and viewing area. The Belmont County Victorian Mansion Museum is housed in a beautifully restored 26-room mansion in Barnesville.

Aerial of Salt Fork Park lodge and pool

12. Salt Fork State Park

Located north of Cambridge and accessible off I-77. The park’s 17,299 acres offer boating, hiking, picnicking, fishing and hunting. The park features a modern lodge, a family campground and cabins.

13. Dillon State Park

North of Zanesville and off I-70. Visitors can explore the 1,560-acre lake or hike through the lush, hardwood forest. The area is known for boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and hunting. The park features several picnic areas, 29 modern cabins and a large campground.

Boy looking at window display at National Road museum

14. Zanesville-Muskingum County

Located west of Cambridge on I-70. The John and Annie Glenn Museum in New Concord remembers the first American astronaut to orbit the earth. Zanesville is an art lover’s paradise with 16 art studios and museums including the Alan Cottrill Sculpture Studio and Gallery, the Zanesville Museum of Art and Gallery G, a co-op featuring the work of 25 local artists. The National Road Zane Grey Museum tells the history of the building of the National Road, and the famed “Father of the American Western.” Visitors can ride the sternwheeler “Lorena” on the Muskingum River. A must-see drive begins on the famous Y Bridge first built in 1819. Vintage pottery and other unique treasures can be discovered at many antique shops and pottery stores. The Weasel Boy Brewing Company is a cozy riverside pub. A must tour is The Wilds, one of the world’s largest conservation centers that features open air safari tours, horseback riding, ziplining, a butterfly habitat and birding station.

15. Muskingum Riverway State Park

Follows the Muskingum River north from Marietta to Lake Erie. On the National Registry of Historic Places, the river features the only remaining system of hand–operated locks in the nation that are today operated for recreational boats.

Mother and kids going into toy store

16. Marietta

Located adjacent to I-77 at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers. Established in 1788, this historic river town is the oldest city in Ohio and the first American settlement north and west of the Ohio River. The area’s first known residents were the Hopewell and Adena Native American cultures who left behind 95-acres of earthen artwork visitors can marvel at today. A great tour can include the Start Westward Movement sculpture at Muskingum Park, the Castle Museum housed in a restored 1855 Gothic-Revival home, and the Campus Martius Museum portraying Marietta’s early days. Other attractions include the Ohio River Museum, the Children’s Toy and Doll Museum, and the Peoples Mortuary Museum. The Harmar Walking Bridge leads to historic Harmar Village. Fun tours also include the Valley Gem Sternwheeler River Tour, the Marietta Trolley Tour and the Hidden Marietta Tour.

17. Burr Oak State Park

Located northeast of Athens on OH 13. The 2,593-acre park features seven hiking trails that intersect with the statewide Buckeye Trail. Park facilities include a modern lodge, cabins and a family-friendly campground.

18. Forked Run State Park

Located southeast of Athens on OH 7. This 791-acre park was once a major coal mining area during the Civil War. Today the park offers fishing, hunting, hiking and boating. The park’s main campground overlooks the scenic Forked Run Lake valley.

Golden sunrise fishing on river

19. Portsmouth – Scioto County

Located at the southern tip of Ohio and US 23. The area’s history is colorfully depicted by internationally recognized muralist Robert Dafford. The Floodwall Mural Project stands 20’ high and 2,200’ along Front Street in downtown Portsmouth. Antique shopping can be enjoyed at Portsmouth’s Historic Boneyfiddle District, and along the area’s scenic country roads. Nearby prehistoric Indian Mounds include Serpent Mound, Mound Park and Tremper Mound. The Southern Ohio Museum features exhibits on “The Art of the Ancients” as well as American-scene painter Clarence Holbrook Carter. Alexandria Point provides a great view of the Ohio and Scioto Rivers.

Kayaks along lake beach

20. Shawnee State Park

The 1,090-acre park southwest of Portsmouth on OH 125 within Shawnee State Forest was once the hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians. Today the park offers a modern lodge, a wooded campground and year-round vacation cabins.

21. East Fork State Park

Located 25 miles southeast of Cincinnati on OH 125. Home to the Little Miami River Basin, the area exhibits human activity going back 3,000 years ago. Today the park offers 46 miles of backcountry trails great for hiking and horseback riding. The 2,160-acre lake offers multiple boat ramps, a large swimming beach and beach house – a perfect way to spend a summer day.

22. Cincinnati

Home of the one-of-a-kind Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, the Cincinnati History Museum, the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater.


23. Ashland

West of Huntington, WV. Ashland is on the Country Music National Scenic Byway. The Paramount Art Center attracts top performers throughout the year. Nearby, Greenbo Lake State Resort Park offers 25 miles of hiking trails, fishing, boating, swimming and biking. State Highway 8 is close to the river and provides easy access to Vanceburg, Maysville, Kincaid Lake State Park, and Alexandria to Covington. The Pioneer Port City of historic Maysville has 155 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Corps of Discovery member John Colter was from Maysville.

Newport Aquarium shark exhibit

24. Newport

Across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The Newport Aquarium is a world-class aquarium presenting ultra-rare shark rays, an African penguin parade, sea turtles, dive show and feedings throughout the year. Nearby Covington has the largest number of historical districts in Kentucky whose attractions include the Garden of Hope and the Covington Arts District. South of Covington, Florence and Independence provide a variety of recreational activities. Meriwether Lewis visited the area which became Big Bone Lick State Historic Site south of Covington to study the prehistoric mammal remains there.

25. General Butler State Resort Park

South of Carrollton and north of I-71 where the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers converge. The Butler-Turpin Home built in 1859 provides a glimpse of life during the Civil War. The park features a 53-room lodge, 24 cottages, camping, hiking, mountain biking and golfing.

Photo of state capitol with tulips

26. Frankfort

Kentucky’s state capital city located on I-64. Explore the state’s history at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Admission to the museum also includes a guided tour of the Old State Capitol and a self-guided tour of the Kentucky Military History Museum

Visitors on the Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory Tour can see, sample and purchase the famous bourbon ball candy – sample provided! The Salato Wildlife Education Center offers native wildlife and interactive displays. Cove Springs Park includes 250-acres of streams, waterfalls, forested ravines and 6-miles of trails. Visitors to Canoe Kentucky can rent canoes, kayaks, SUP boards and rafts. Josephine Sculpture Park is the state’s only outdoor sculpture park with several miles of trails and outdoor art. The Daniel Boone Burial Site at the Frankfort Cemetery offers a panoramic view of the Kentucky River. Frankfort has four distilleries, three breweries and a winery all offering samples, food and tours.

27. La Grange

On I-71. A Preserve America Community that celebrates its heritage, and is home to the Oldham County Historical Society, a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site.

28. Goshen

On US 41 northeast of Louisville. Home of Hermitage Farm, the famed thoroughbred horse farm that has produced a Kentucky Derby winner, a Breeders Cup winner, and a Kentucky Oaks winner.

Photo of Louisville skyline and river at dusk

29. Louisville

Founded in 1778. Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark, is the restored Georgian mansion built in 1792, and the oldest known surviving Lewis and Clark structure west of the Appalachians. Here the Clark family celebrated the captains’ safe return in 1806. The Filson Historical Society features exhibits and programs on the history of Kentucky. The inspiring statue of York, member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is located at the Belvedere – Louisville Waterfront Park. The Frazier History Museum and the Portland Museum also celebrate the history of Louisville and Kentucky. Louisville is home to Churchill Downs and the world-famous Kentucky Derby founded by Clark’s grandson Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. The Kentucky Derby Museum showcases all the winners since 1875.

The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory features a 120-foot replica of Babe Ruth’s bat. The Muhammad Ali Center presents multimedia experiences of Ali’s boxing career. The Louisville Zoo features more than 1,500 exotic animals and many rides and attractions. The Louisville Mega Cavern, Kentucky Science Center, the Farmington Historic Plantation, the Speed Art Museum, and the KMAC Museum are among Louisville’s many outstanding attractions. Louisville is also home of the Urban Bourbon Experience that includes 10 distilleries and some of the most authentic dining establishments on the Urban Bourbon Trail.

30. Shepherdsville

South of Louisville on I-65. The Bullitt County Wine and Whiskey Tour includes the Jim Beam and Four Roses distilleries and four award-winning local wineries. Kart Kountry features the “longest go-cart track in the world.”

31. Hodgenville

South on KY 61. Visitors can see Abraham Lincoln’s humble beginnings at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site and the nearby Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home.

(Photo of Bluegrass performers

32. Owensboro

Located at I-165 and the Ohio River. The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum is the only facility in the world dedicated to this American music. The state-of-the-art museum features hands-on exhibits, live performances and concerts. The collections of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art are housed in three wings, including a 1909 Carnegie Library and the pre-Civil War era John Hampden Smith House. The O.Z. Tyler Bourbon Distillery, a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, shows aging bourbon unlike anywhere in the world. Live music can be enjoyed all summer in downtown Owensboro or at riverfront stages. Smothers Park, called “the top playground in the world,” is on the scenic riverfront. Owensboro is a culinary hub offering a wide variety of unique restaurants. Owensboro also has many sports facilities hosting baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, hockey and more.


33. John James Audubon State Park

North of Henderson on US 41. Visitors can explore the woodlands where the famed naturalist studied and illustrated bird species from 1810 to 1819. Today the park features a museum with a significant collection of Audubon art, cabins, campground, hiking trails and boating.

Woman looking over colorful quilt at museum34. Paducah

Founded in 1827 by William Clark, co-captain of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Visitors can explore Paducah’s origins at the William Clark Market House Museum, housed in one of downtown’s landmark buildings. Today, Paducah is known as one of the world’s UNESCO Creative Cities. The National Quilt Museum is a must-see art museum featuring the work of contemporary quiltmakers and a Lewis & Clark Trail of Discovery tribute on the lawn. Paducah’s “Wall to Wall” Murals, 50+ life-sized panoramic portrayals by muralist Robert Dafford color the city’s floodwall overlooking the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. The Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum profiles western Kentucky’s role in the Civil War. The River Discovery Center celebrates the city’s maritime legacy with interactive exhibits allowing visitors to pilot their own vessel. Paducah’s distinctive 19th century architecture combined with a rich diversity of visual, performing and culinary art offerings inspire visitors year-round.

35. Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site

Located on US 60 overlooking the Mississippi River. This unique historical site near Wickliffe features a prehistoric Native American village and a museum with exhibits about the mounds, the Mississippian culture and artifacts.

Visit our Partner’s websites for more information on Kentucky.


Reflective lake at Versailles

36. Versailles State Park

On US 50 west of Lawrenceburg. Visitors can enjoy miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback trails, or rent a rowboat, kayak, or canoe and go fishing on the lake. South of the park on IN 56 along the Ohio River is the Village of Rising Sun with the Pendleton Art Center that is home for 25 artists’ studios.

37. Clifty Falls State Park

West of North Madison on IN 7 and IN 56. This beautiful park is a hiker’s paradise and features waterfalls that change moods with the season and a variety of fun outdoor activities year-round. For more information visit: Nearby Madison is a National Historic Landmark District with more than 130 blocks of historic buildings. The Lanier Mansion State Historic Site in Madison attracts visitors throughout the year.

38. Charlestown State Park

South of Charlestown on IN 62. Visitors can hike and camp in the rugged hills and deep canyons leading to the Ohio River valley. At Charlestown visitors can enjoy scenic vistas of the Ohio River and the historic Portersville Bridge.

Clarksville Re-enactors

39. Clarksville

Located on I-65. After meeting in Louisville, Lewis and Clark had the boats piloted through the Falls of the Ohio to Clarksville where they established their base camp near Clark’s Point. The achievements of the Expedition are celebrated at the stunning Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center overlooking the Falls. The center features 3,000 square feet of immersive exhibits that bring alive Lewis and Clark Trail history and lifelike displays of wildlife. The center also features a dramatic film on the expedition, an auditorium and a river viewing room. 

Just down the river is the re-created George Rogers Clark Home Site where Clark lived when Lewis and the Corps arrived in 1803. Nearby New Albany features the Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site, the Carnegie Center for Art and History, the Arts Alliance of Southern IN and the Art Seed Gallery.

40. Hardy Lake

Off I-65. This outdoor getaway for the family includes a marina, boat launches, fishing, beach, amphitheater, six hiking trails, archery range and both electric and primitive campgrounds. The Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center offers programs with birds of prey who serve as education ambassadors.

Corydon Indiana’s First State Capitol

41. Corydon

South of I-64 on IN 62. The Trail continues west to historic Corydon. Expedition member John Shields lived in the area after the Corps return. Visitors get a feel for Indiana’s early years in the historic town which served as Indiana’s first state capital from 1816 to1825. Today visitors can see many historic buildings built in the 1800’s, including the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site, the first state capitol building and governor’s headquarters. Don’t miss the fifth-generation glassblowers and art at Zimmerman Art Glass. The Harrison County Discovery Center is an interactive history museum for all ages. Families will also enjoy nearby O’Bannon Woods State Park featuring a family aquatic center, pioneer farmstead, hiking and camping. ( Marvel at the wonderous underground sights at Wyandotte Caves (seasonal), Squire Boone Caverns and Indiana Caverns, all within an easy drive from Corydon.

Kids on a red roller coaster

42. Santa Claus

West of Hoosier National Forest and Tell City on IN 62. This festive town is home to the world’s first theme park, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, known for friendly staff, cleanliness, and family fun.

The town of Santa Claus celebrates the holidays at the Santa Claus Museum & Village, Santa’s Candy Castle, the Santa Claus Christmas Store, Santa’s Stables, and more. Visit the world’s only post office with the Santa Claus name. The town offers a variety of lodging including camping and vacation rentals.

Live performance at Lincoln Amphitheatre

43. Lincoln City

East on IN 162. Abraham Lincoln spent his childhood in Indiana. The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial features interpretive trails, historic features and a visitor center with sculpted panels by E.H. Daniels depicting significant periods in Lincoln’s life. The nearby 1,747-acre Lincoln State Park, established in 1932, includes Lake Lincoln, lakeside shelters, boat rentals, miles of trails and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza. Go to: Just down the road, explore 13 Lincoln-era replica cabins and a museum at the Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum in Rockport.

Girl in yellow hard hat at cMoe

44. Evansville

Located on I-69. The Angel Mounds State Historic Site on the Ohio River is an ancient Mississippian Native American site featuring an Interpretive Center, Museum, and reconstructed village. Families will enjoy “cMoe” the Koch Family Children’s Museum as well as Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, which features the immersive Amazonia rainforest plus the fun for all ages Engelbrecht Carousel. Visit the LST 325, a floating piece of World War II history. Take in a game at Bosse Field, a 1940s vintage baseball park, location for the popular movie “A League of Their Own” and home to the Evansville Otters. 

Burdette Park offers wooded hiking trails, rustic chalets and cabins and an Aquatic Center. For nightlife check out the Tropicana Evansville Casino, Haynie’s Corner Arts District and the West Franklin Street District.

45. Harmonie State Park

On IN 69. The Park features a beautiful swimming pool, picnic areas, hiking and mountain biking, Wabash River vistas and a beautiful campground and cabins for lodging. Nearby New Harmony Historic District includes historic buildings from the 19th Century that relate the story of two unique pioneer communities established in the early 1800s.

George Rogers Clark Memorial

46. Vincennes and Knox County

At the crossroads of US 50 and 41. Vincennes is Indiana’s oldest city and the site of the American Revolution’s decisive victory in the Old Northwest Territory. Today, the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park celebrates that victory with the largest granite memorial monument west of Washington DC. The scenic park on the banks of the Wabash River honors George Rogers Clark and his men for their victory at Fort Sackville. Clark was also an older brother to William Clark, co-captain of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Other historical attractions include the Indiana Military Museum, Vincennes State Historic Sites, Old French House and Grouseland, the William H. Harrison Mansion and Museum. The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is fun for visitors of all ages and celebrates one of America’s great comedians.

Visit our Partner's websites for more information.


Illinois Scenic Byway visitor center

47. Equality

On Route 13. The Ohio River Scenic Byway Visitor Center is the place to begin your Lewis and Clark Trail adventure in Illinois. For more information, go to: Following the Byway, visitors can drive SE from Harrisburg on Highway 145 and Rt. 34 or 13 to nearby Shawneetown, then Rt. 1 to Karber’s Ridge Road into Shawnee National Forest to the Garden of the Gods Wilderness Area and the Rim Rock and Pounds Hollow Recreation Areas. Garden of the Gods offers breathtaking scenic vistas that stretch to the horizon. The nearby upper Rim Rock National Recreational Trail is equally awesome taking visitors around and on top of rock escarpments. The lower trail is just as spectacular leading visitors to massive bottomland hardwood trees and Ox-Lot Cave.

48. Cave-in-Rock State Park

The fabled Cave-in-Rock on State Park Road # 1 to the Ohio River has been a hide-out for outlaws and river pirates since Lewis and Clark’s day. Today the park features a lodge and restaurant, camping, hiking and boating on the Ohio River.

Garden of the Gods scenic49. Rosiclare and Golconda

The Byway goes southwest to nearby Tower Rock Recreation Area, and then on to the Rose Hotel Historic Site and the Civil War era iron smelting furnace near Rosiclare, home of the inspiring Fluorspar Miners Memorial. The Byway continues south on Route 146 to Golconda to the Golconda Marina on the Ohio. Nearby is the 1837 Buel House and Dixon Springs State Park. Farther south near Brookport is the Kincaid Archeological Site where ancient people built homes and temples on a large flat-topped hill.

50. Fort Massac State Park

Located in Metropolis, west of I-24. The historic fort has been rebuilt as it appeared in 1803 when Lewis and Clark recruited George Drouillard for the Corps after they came down the Ohio River. Trail travelers will enjoy the visitor center, museum and artifacts collection, biking on the George Rogers Clark Discovery Trail, and attending special events including the Fort Massac Encampment in October.

Fort Massac reenactors

51. Fort Defiance Park

Route 3. The Devil’s Backbone Park overlooking the river is pocked with caves where river pirates hid out until they were rousted in 1803 by troops from Fort Kaskaskia.

52. Grand Tower

South of Cairo on US 51. Lewis and Clark spent six days here getting accurate readings on the river at the Ohio River’s confluence with the Mississippi. Fort Defiance was also once the site of a key Union outpost during the Civil War

53. Fort Kaskaskia Historic Site

Located south of Ellis Grove on Shawneetown Road. The fort played an important role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Harford Confluence Tower

54. East St. Louis

Located on I-64. Attractions include Cahokia and the Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site with a Lewis and Clark exhibit. The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is nearby in Collinsville.

55. Hartford and Wood River

The location of the “Point of Departure” for the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s epic journey to the Pacific Ocean on May 14, 1804. Hartford is marked by the inspiring 150’ high Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower where visitors get a spectacular view of the Missouri and Mississippi River Confluence. Go to: The nearby Lewis and Clark State Historic Site includes the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center featuring a full-scale replica of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s keelboat, exhibits portraying the legacy of the Expedition and a reconstructed Camp River Dubois.

Visit our Partner’s websites for more information on Illinois.


56. Charleston

Located on I-57. The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Visitor Center is located at Henry S. Whipple Park at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers where the Corps of Discovery first entered the lands of the Louisiana Purchase. The Center features a walk lined with plaques and the map of the expedition carved into granite rock.57. Cape Girardeau

Cape Girardeau River wall

57. Cape Girardeau

Located on I-55. The largest city in southeast Missouri was well established when the Corps came in 1803 and Lewis met Louis Lorimier at the Red House. A replica of the building was constructed in 2003 as a visitor center and the focal point for the historic downtown area which is framed by a 1,100-foot-long Mississippi River Tales Mural. Antique stores, galleries, restaurants, and historic buildings in this unique setting attract thousands of visitors. The nearby Trail of Tears State Park where the Corps camped on November 24, 1803, features an interpretive center, lake boating, camping, hike/bike trails and playground. Other attractions include the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site and covered bridge, the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, the Crisp Museum’s Crossroads Theater, Gallery and Kiosks, and Historic Fort D, one of four Civil War forts.

58. Wittenberg

This historic community east of Uniontown is close to Tower Rock, the landmark on the Mississippi River that Lewis and Clark explored and measured in 1803.

59. St. Genevieve

Just off I-55 and US 61, St. Genevieve was founded as a French Colonial settlement and today has over 100 historic homes and structures housing galleries, wineries and microbreweries.

St. Louis Arch at night

60. St. Louis

The iconic Gateway Arch National Park stands as a beacon for visitors to St. Louis and the region. Standing 630-feet tall, it is a lasting symbol of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of American growth and expansion.

61. St. Charles

West on I-70. Downtown St. Charles is a nationally registered historic district where for over 200 years residents have hosted travelers going up the Missouri River, including Lewis and Clark on May 21, 1804. The Lewis and Clark Boat House, Museum and Nature Center features a full-size replica of the Corps’ keelboat and pirogues at scenic city park on the Missouri River. A larger than life statue of Lewis and Clark is nearby. The picturesque downtown area features historic homes and buildings with antique shops, eateries and galleries.

Visit our Partner’s websites for more information on Missouri.

The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation has chapters in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Funded in part by the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation from the Lewis and Clark Trail Stewardship Endowment: A National Council of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Bicentennial Legacy Project.

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