Underground Railroad: Crow Knob

Area Status: Open

In the mid-1800s the landscape that is now the Shawnee National Forest provided paths to freedom for runaway slaves. After crossing the Ohio River into Illinois, the dense forest and rugged terrain helped fugitives stay hidden during their perilous journey toward liberty.

Crow Knob is a sandstone bluff that overlooks the former Miller Grove community to the south. Because of its vantage point, it served as an important lookout for the Underground Railroad.  According to local myth, fires were lit on top of the bluff to signal and guide freedom seekers toward a safe zone in Miller Grove. Hiking to crow knob may be difficult.  Please consult with the local Forest Service office for more information.


Cheryl LaRoche, Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: the Geography of Resistance

Mary McCorvie, “Spotlight on the Underground Railroad,” http://www.recreation.gov/marketing.do?goto=acm/Explore_And_More/exploreArticles/Spotlight__The_Underground_Railroad_on_the_Shawnee_National_Forest.htm

This information about the Underground Railroad is part of a geo-located multi-forest interpretive program. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service Washington Office Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources program leadership with any questions or to make changes.  SGV – Recreation Data and Information Coordinator.

At a Glance

Information Center: The U.S. Forest Service has created this multi-Forest interpretive program to highlight people and places along the historic Underground Railroad. Some of these sites are “virtual” locations and are intended to provoke thoughts and conversation but may not have anything physical present on the ground.  These locations are generally relevant to the topics presented on the webpage.  Please use caution when traveling to these remote locations and consult your local Forest Service office for more details. All of the sites highlighted in this program can be seen by visiting https://www.fs.usda.gov/ivm/ and searching within the magnifying glass for “Underground Railroad.”

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