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Between the Mighty Rivers - Fort Defiance

Cairo, IL, United States
23 Kudos
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Fort Defiance was a military fort located at the southernmost tip of the state of Illinois. At this point, the Ohio River joins the Mississippi. Today, there is a park at the junction of these two rivers. I have heard reports that the park used to be in rough condition, but that attempts to improve the park are ongoing. I have only made one quick stop, so I did not have much time to look at any improvements. There were few facilities in the park when I visited in 2015, but I still enjoyed the chance to step out of the car and walk around for a few minutes. The park offers you the opportunity to view the junction of these two massive rivers. A small viewing tower allows for an elevated view.


I was probably just a bit too early to view much fall foliage. The trees were still mostly green for my mid-October visit although a touch of color was showing up here and there. This area is very low in elevation, and it is surprisingly far south. Despite being in Illinois, it is considerably closer to Memphis than to Chicago. Perhaps late October or even the first few days of November might provide some fall colors.


There are two great bridges that lead into the park, but they are slightly different in appearance. The westernmost bridge carries traffic across the Mississippi River from the state of Missouri. The easternmost bridge carries traffic across the Ohio River into Kentucky.
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