Hillsboro is located in Marion County, where the North and South Cottonwood Rivers join. The town has a four-year liberal arts college, and a nice downtown shopping area. For major events, the town goes all out to put on a folk festival in late spring, a four-day fair in the summer and a huge arts and crafts festival in the fall.
Marion Reservoir, a Corps of Engineers lake with approximately 4,100 acres of project lands, is just north of US 56 and provides a wealth of recreational opportunities including hunting and is especially well known for its fishing.
Hillsboro is nestled among three famous trails. Pioneers traveled the Gnadenau Trail to settle the area in 1874. During the 1860s – 70s, ranchers drove cattle from Texas up the Chisholm Trail just West of Hillsboro to Abilene. Throughout the 1800s, merchants drove supplies west along the Santa Fe Trail North and West of Hillsboro, which is located on the Auto Tour Route of the trail.