Imagine an area that includes 15 wildlife management areas and 13 public access areas spanning more than 24,000 acres and scattered along 75 miles of two major rivers. Add to this awe-inspiring bluffs that tower over the river valley, providing breathtaking views, and you begin to get some idea of what awaits you at the Mississippi River State Fish and Wildlife Area.
As its name implies, the area lies within Mississippi River Valley, at Navigation Pools 25 and 26, and includes portions of both the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The total project area consists of 24,386 acres of General Plan lands. Of this total, 16,875 acres are actively managed for wetland habitat enhancement and public recreation.
The Mississippi River Area's main emphasis is wetland management, with waterfowl as the primary species of concern. Hunters, fishermen, boaters and birdwatchers can enjoy the beauty of the area, yet there is ample opportunity for access to civilization just a few miles away.
A drive along the scenic Great River Road leads through Grafton, past Elsah, a quaint 19th century village, and on to Alton, with many antique stores and other accommodations. A ride on the Brussels Ferry takes you across the Illinois River and into Calhoun County where apple orchards and roadside markets await. There truly is something for every type of visitor to the area.
- While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
- At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.