Opened in 1997, the Pere Marquette Visitor Center is situated just north of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers confluence in Grafton and should be the first stop when visiting the park. When you walk into the Visitor Center you are greeted with a three-dimensional map of the park and a wealth of other displays and exhibits focusing on the Illinois River, wildlife habitat, local history and geology.
Trail maps are available inside the center and will soon be available at trail heads. Park staff will be on hand to explain the trail system and give trail advice during normal office hours. Several informational park videos are highly recommended and available for viewing in the Audio/Visual room of the Visitor Center. Pere Marquette: The Park by the River, A story of Hope: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Illinois, Where Eagles Soar, Dinky (historic rail car footage), and Resource Conservation.
Free guided hikes to the different scenic areas on the park are available to be scheduled for any group size. If interested in organizing one, call the visitor center to schedule.
Schools and Scout groups may arrange reservations for a guided hike on the park's history and geology to McAdams Peak and Twin Mounds Peak. Please contact the park office Monday through Saturday at
Binoculars are available for rent (FREE!) with a state issued I.D. at the front desk of the Visitor Center.
Visitor Center Hours
Monday-Saturday 8 A.M. -4 P.M.
Visitor Center will be closed on
- Thanksgiving Day & Friday after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
- New Years Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- President's Day
- Forth of July