Pere Marquette State Park

Pere Marquette State Park
A Confluence Greenway Attraction

Main Partner
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Location
Five miles west of Grafton, on Illinois Route 100 (Great River Road Scenic Byway)

Directions
(By car) From I-270 in north St. Louis County, take Missouri Highway 367 North across the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Alton IL. Turn left onto Illinois Route 143 and proceed through town to Illinois Route 100. Follow Route 100 through Grafton and another five miles to the Park.
(By bicycle) The Sam Vadalabene Bikeway runs parallel to Route 100 from the northern limits of downtown Alton to the park. A parking area is located at the Alton trailhead. Cyclists arriving from the south on the new Confluence Trail will reach Russell Commons Park (Lock and Dam 26) and follow the marked levee-top trail through the casino parking lot. The Vadalabene Bikeway is marked at this point.

Hours
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
State Park Dawn to 9:00 p.m.

Contact
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Pere Marquette State Park
Route 100, P.O. Box 158
Grafton, Il 62037
(618) 786-3323

History
The park is located along the Illinois River, at the southern tip of a landscape deeply scoured by glaciers. A rich landscape of waterways, loess-covered hillsides, prairies and deciduous forests was created from these ancient forces. The area’s great beauty led civic groups to acquire the park’s 8,000 acres in 1931, through a combination of private and state matching funds.

The park’s original name, Piasa Bluffs, was quickly changed by popular demand to honor the French missionary, Father (Pere) Jacques Marquette. A large stone cross east of the park entrance marks the 1673 landing of the renowned Illinois River exploration party led by Marquette and French cartographer Louis Joliet.

Features
Twelve miles of forested, marked trails, suitable for beginners and experienced hikers

Scenic overlooks to the Illinois River offer wonderful views of river bottomlands

Marina facilities on the Illinois River

Extremely good location for birding (especially Stump Lake and McAdams Peak), attracting large seasonal concentrations of neotropical migrants, bald eagles, raptors, pelicans, herons, egrets, and ducks

Year-round or seasonal activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, boating, picnicking, group camping

Visitors’ center includes interpretive programs, a three-dimensional map of the park, a 300-gallon aquarium, and displays and exhibits about the Illinois River, wildlife habitat, local history, and geology

Restored, the historic 1930s-era lodge provides room rental, meeting and conference space, an indoor pool, and a regionally renowned restaurant. A limited number of renovated detached cabins are also available for rental. A separate campground is available for both tent and RV use.

For more information about Pere Marquette State Park, see
http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r4/prm/peremarq.htm
http://www.greatriverroad.com/Pere/PereIndex.htm

For information about nearby recreation opportunities, see
http://midwest.fws.gov/marktwain (Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge)
http://www.grafton.il.us
http://www.elsah.org
http://www.visitalton.com