Illinois Route 146
|Maintained by IDOT|
|Length:||92.93 mi (149.56 km)|
|Existed:||1926 – present|
|West end:||Route 34 / Route 74 in East Cape Girardeau|
| US 51 in Anna
I-57 in Anna
US 45 in Vienna
I-24 in Vienna
|East end:||IL 1 in Cave-in-Rock|
|Counties:||Alexander, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin|
Illinois Route 146 (IL-146) is an east–west state highway in the U.S. state of Illinois. It serves the extreme southern region of the state, commonly called Little Egypt or the Illinois Ozarks. IL-146 is 92.93 miles (149.56 km) long. An east–west highway, it serves Hardin County, Pope County, Johnson County, and Union County. These are some of the least-populated counties in Illinois. IL-146 serves two sections of the Shawnee National Forest.
IL-146 generally follows a land route of the Trail of Tears, a trail taken by bands of approximately 9,000 Cherokee who were forced to march through southern Illinois from November 1838 until January 1839 as part of a U.S. government mandated relocation. In 2006, the state of Illinois designated IL-146 as a historic highway and route of the Trail of Tears.
IL-146 passes through an area of Illinois noted for scenic beauty and significant tourist visitation. State-operated parks and recreation areas on or adjacent to IL-146 include, from west to east:
- Union County Conservation Area near Jonesboro
- Trail of Tears State Forest near Jonesboro
- Cache River State Natural Area near Vienna
- Dixon Springs State Park near Dixon Springs
- Rauchfuss Hill State Recreation Area near Golconda
- Rose Hotel State Historic Site in Elizabethtown
- Cave-in-Rock State Park in Cave-in-Rock
SBI Route 146 originally ran from East Cape Girardeau east to Golconda. In 1937 it was extended east to Elizabethtown, replacing a leg of Illinois Route 34. In 1942 the road was extended east to Cave-In-Rock. There have been no changes since 1942.
- Rose Hotel Bed and Breakfast in Elizabethtown