In Southern Illinois, Cave In Rock is steeped in history, and even a major motion picture was filmed there. It is located directly on the bank of the Ohio River, on the Illinois side, inside of Cave In Rock State Park. There is no fee to visit the cave.
The cave was discovered by the French explorer, M. de Lery, in 1729. The cave being large and with an air vent by way of a crevice, provided a perfect natural shelter.
The cave was later taken over by pirates and thieves. As river travelers passed by on the Ohio River, the robbers pretended to offer help to the pioneers then steal all that they had. As more and more settlers moved west, the law was able to rid the cave of theses evil doers including the Mason Gang and the Harpe Brothers.
The 1962 block buster film “How the West Was Won” included a scene at the cave. The cave was a perfect backdrop because the scene was about bandits luring unsuspecting victims in keeping with the actual history of the cave.
When you visit, take the nearby free car ferry across the Ohio River to capture photographs of the steep rock wall bluff along the cave from the river itself.