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  Golconda Marina State Recreation Area   

South Region

R. R. #2
Golconda, IL 62958
618.683.5875 or
Site Map History Smithland Pool

Golconda Marina is located in the southeastern portion of Pope County along a scenic stretch of the Ohio River at Golconda. The 274-acre site is a full-service boat marina with 206 slips. The marina serves as the gateway to the Smithland Pool area of the Ohio River. Smithland Pool, a 23,000-acre recreational area of fingered tributaries off the Ohio River, is recognized as one of the finest fishing and boating areas in the nation.


MarinaGolconda Marina marks the culmination of a concerted effort by several conservation groups to bring a recreational service facility to Golconda. Originally developed as a project of the Lusk Conservancy District, and completed under a joint venture between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Golconda Marina opened in the spring of 1988 as a multi-million dollar facility. It is one of the more modern marinas on the Ohio River.

The site where the marina is located was created in 1937 when barrow dirt from this area was used to build the flood wall around the town of Golconda. The resulting pit formed a water impoundment area that offered excellent trapping and fishing opportunities.

A large bluff located on the north side of the marina is called Rauchfuss Hill. The site also has been known as Steamboat Hill, because it offers the best location to watch boats go up and down the Ohio River. The U.S. Forest Service acquired the bluff and built a camping area overlooking the Ohio River; the site now is owned by the Department of Natural Resources. This area offers a picnic area and a hiking trail up the historic steps on the south bluff, which is registered with the National Historical Society.

Another hiking trail will be built off the old railroad bed which is 3,300 feet long. This trail will be rebuilt up the east slope this winter by the Ohio River

Marina with sailboatsThe federal government, which has primary jurisdiction in the Smithland Lock and Dam project, leased land and water acreage to the state in 1985 for public park and recreational purposes. The area includes boat ramps, an access road, a parking lot andthe marina operatied by a private concessionaire.



Smithland Pool was formed in 1980 upon completion of the Smithland Navigation Project at Hamletsburg. The pool is more than 72 miles long, from north of the Smithland Lock on the Ohio River to the Uniontown Lock.

Water surface of the Pool is 23,000 acres. There is easy, deep-water access to Evansville, IN (110 miles), Kentucky Lake (56 miles), Barkley Lake (54 miles) and Mobile, AL (655 miles).

Recreational boaters find the miles of shoreline, numerous islands and deep, clean water of the Smithland Pool provide excellent fishing and endless hours of skiing and boating pleasure.

  • 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.
  • We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
  • For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
  • Telecommunication Device for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175 for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.

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