Williamson County in Southern Illinois is a thriving economic and geographic hub with a population of over 150,000. Its strategic location at the crossroads of major highways makes it a popular retail and commercial destination for the surrounding counties. The county has experienced a 1.9% growth rate since the 2000 census, which is faster than any other county in Southern Illinois. The county is also a center for higher education with several colleges. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for recreation, including fishing, hunting, and hiking at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and Shawnee National Forest. The county is also a tourist hotspot with over 21 state parks and 13 federal recreation areas located within easy driving distance. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including golf, local festivals, and over 1500 motel rooms in the county. Overall, Williamson County offers a diverse range of opportunities for both residents and visitors alike.