Pere Marquette State Park RV & Campground Guide

Illinois

Exquisite lake views from steep bluffs and bald eagle sightings in nature’s paradise located at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, IL. Found at the southwestern point of Illinois, this park is only one hour away from St. Louis and a popular destination stop. The spectacular views of the Illinois River and its backwaters can be seen from several points atop the bluffs. Visitors can take advantage of a variety of year-round recreational opportunities, including horseback riding, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and boating.

Fall color drives are popular along the wooded ravines and riverside roadways around Pere Marquette. In January and February, the park is a hot-spot for bald eagle watching. For many years, the park has hosted tours of the river bluffs and woods for visitors to get an up-close look at hundreds of wintering bald eagles along the Mississippi River and lower Illinois River.

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Weather
Spring 45-75 F
Summer 64-86 F
Fall 34-68 F
Winter 21-43 F
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Nearby Cities
Grafton, IL
St. Louis, MO
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Pere Marquette State Park

Campers will find plenty to like at Pere Marquette, from campsites and cabins to the popular Youth Tent Camp and three group camps. It is a bit on the rustic side of camping but many sites have electric hookups. The nightly camp rates start at $20. 

You can absolutely camp with nature and take in the magnificent sounds of the park in your sleeping bag under the stars or in your tent. But if the wilderness nightlife isn’t your thing, you should consider renting an RV with RVshare.com to create your own customized comfort and style and check out a few other great RV parks we have to share with you. 

Sundermeier RV Park

Located in St. Charles, MO, it is only 23 miles from Pere Marquette State Park. It is a small-town community feel with nearby swimming pools, playground and sports courts. It is a great location for easy access to see a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, shopping or hit up a few wineries. Nightly rates start at $54.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wi-Fi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: handicap accessibility, laundry, fire pit, picnic table

370 Lakeside Park

Located in St. Peters, MO, it is only 60 miles from Pere Marquette State Park. This RV park surrounds a 140-acre lake and is known for serene sunsets, fishing, archery, kayaking, biking and hiking trails. It is also near to St. Louis if you wish to check out the city sights and activities. RV sites start at a $42 nightly rate. 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wi-Fi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: picnic tables, fire pit, full bathhouse, laundry, convenience store, activity centers

RV Rentals Near Pere Marquette State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Pere Marquette State Park

Inside Pere Marquette State Park

One of the most fascinating things to see at Pere Marquette would be to visit during the the Bald Eagle Days and try to spot the hundreds of nesting bald eagles. If bird-watching isn’t your thing, this park has no shortage of fantastic accessibility to outdoor activities. Here are few of the options you may have while visiting:

  • Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Days: Eagles may be spotted in the treetops along the Illinois River from December to March and there is a guided tour!
  • Bike Trail: The Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail runs from Pere Marquette State Park to the City of Alton, approximately 20 miles south of the park. The entire trail is paved.
  • Bird Watching: The location of this park allows many opportunities to view the national bird, the bald eagle. About 230 species of birds have been identified within, at the boundaries of, or flying over Pere Marquette State Park. A checklist has been prepared by local birders, in cooperation with the IDNR, and is available at the Visitor Center. Popular locations for bird watching are Stump Lake, in the river bottoms, and McAdams Peak and other overlooks along the park's scenic roadway.
  • Boating and Fishing: Bluegill, carp, catfish, crappie, drum, largemouth bass and white bass, attract anglers to the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Launching ramps with courtesy docks available when weather conditions and river levels permit. 
  • Camping: For visitors who prefer a rustic experience, Pere Marquette offers a wide range of camping opportunities.
  • Hiking: Approximately 12 miles of marked trails provide scenic hiking to beginners and experienced hikers alike. Lush forests, towering bluffs, and an abundance of wildlife provide the perfect backdrop for your outing. Trail maps are available at the Visitor Center.
  • Horseback Riding: The park offers about 20 miles of equestrian trails with a parking area for trailers on Graham Hollow Road. The trails to the west of Graham Hollow are open year-round. The trails east of Graham Hollow will be closed during certain seasons of the year. These areas will be posted when closed. Pere Marquette Riding Stables is open for trail rides every day except Tuesday, weather permitting, from May through October but you should call for a reservation.
  • Hunting: The 2,000-acre public hunting area located off Graham Hollow Road and another 1,344 acres is available for public hunting at Copperhead Hollow Wildlife Area, located on Nutwood Road, approximately 5 miles north of the park. All hunters using the Public Hunting Areas at Graham Hollow Road or Copperhead Hollow must obtain a free permit at the Visitor Center. 
  • Picnicking: Plenty of picnic areas are available throughout the park, with tables, grills and trash containers provided. Three picnic shelters are available, and may be reserved for a fee.
  • Rock Climbing: Pere Marquette State Park offers highly featured limestone formations that experienced rock climbers find great for climbing. Rappelling and climbing at Pere Marquette State Park is permitted ONLY in the designated climbing area. A majority of the recreational rappelling and climbing routes at the park are bolted sport routes, with the exception of a few cracks, which are equipped with top anchors.  

Outside Pere Marquette State Park

Once you have traveled the paths of Pere Marquette, you will find that there is much to enjoy in the surrounding area: sensational scenery, award-winning wineries, golf courses, restaurants, water activities, sporting events, antique shopping, historical museums and more. The park is located along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Great River Road, a section that has been designated as the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway.

Restaurants

Grafton Harbor

After you try the river boat tour, stay for dinner! Grafton Harbor is known for its winery, oyster bar and fun fests. There is nightly music and entertainment, food, drinks and even a floating swimming pool and hot tub. After a day exploring the hiking trails, some R&R before heading back to camp might be just what you need.

Type: American, Bar, Seafood

Location: Grafton, IL

Grafton Winery and Brewhaus

Located on the Mississippi River, Grafton Winery and Brewhaus offers patio seating, fabulous wine pairings, wine and beer flights. And with entertainment and great food options that will make everyone happy, you can’t go wrong making this a stop.

Type: American, Seafood, Winery, Brewery

Location: Grafton, IL

Shopping

Grafton Riverside Flea Market

The Loading Dock hosts the Riverside Flea Market that is held the 4th Saturday & Sunday of the month in April through October. It is known as one of the region’s largest flea markets with guaranteed treasure-hunting fun through a wide selection of antiques, crafts, collectibles and so much more.

Location: Grafton, IL

Elsah General Store

Elsah is a small village near Pere Marquette and you must stop here for gifts or just to explore. Revisit the feeling of a simpler time, while offering groceries, old time candies, vintage bottled soda, ice cream, unique gifts, cards, books and collectibles.

Location: Elsah, IL

Sightseeing

Grafton Zipline Adventures

Soar above and through the trees for the thrill of a lifetime when you zipline here. All zip stops are staffed with tour guides to help you navigate the terrain safely. 

Location: Grafton, IL

Grafton Harbor Hakuna Matata Boat Tour

Travel through the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers on a boat tour! You can rent your own boat or catch a ride on the Hakuna Matata Boat Tour that even has a tiki bar and light snacks. There are also specialty tours and dinner cruises.

Location: Grafton, IL

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How to Get to
Pere Marquette State Park

Visitor Center Pere Marquette State Park can be found at:

13112 Visitor Center Lane

Grafton, IL 62037

Off IL-100 (the Great River Road)

At coordinates: 

N: 38.973

W: -90.543

Entering Pere Marquette State Park

Exploring the U.S. and creating memories with the ones you love becomes effortless with RVshare. Making travel easy and worry-free is what we do. Take the ride, live your best life in style and comfort when you visit Pere Marquette State Park in an RV rental from us! We would love to see pictures of your adventures so send us photos of your trip to [email protected] and tag us on social media. Your memories could be featured on our blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page!