Pere Marquette State Park
A Confluence Attraction
Participating Confluence Organization
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
State Park dawn to 9:00 p.m.
Route 100, P.O. Box 158
Grafton, Il 62037
Five miles west of Grafton, on Illinois Route 100 (Great River Road Scenic Byway)
(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 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 MCT Confluence Trail will reach Russell Commons Park (just south of the Clark Bridge) and follow the marked levee-top trail through the casino parking lot. The Vadalabene Bikeway is marked at this point.
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.
Twelve miles of forested, marked trails, suitable for beginning 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 neo-tropical 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, historic 1930s-era lodge provides room rental, meeting and conference space, 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
For information about nearby recreation opportunities, see
http://midwest.fws.gov/marktwain (Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge)