The Knights of the Golden Circle is a VERY short hike from the trailhead parking lot along the forest road just north of the backpacking parking lot. The gravel road is passable to the intersection and there is enough room normally for a couple of cars to park at the intersection right across from the and not block the path though it is only a short hike there from the new parking lot at Forrest road.
The story is that this formation was used during the Civil War days for secret meetings of the group The Knights of the Golden Circle, a pro Slavery group with several members in high places in the administration. A lot of rumors in the area, but little action. Southern IL sent more troops to the Union than most areas in the nation and had a proud history of Union support.
It’s unfortunate that this area and the nearby trail are stuck with this name, but late in the evening when the sun is low, it does look like a golden circle. Very worth the short trip when you are in the GoG area.