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Pere Marquette State Park

 

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Pere Marquette State Park

Generally located: Just north of St. Louis and 12 miles west of Alton, Ill. 3 miles west of Grafton.

Best known for it's: a popular biker area. "home of the winterizing bald eagle"

Phone: -

Date stayed: 7-12-09

Part of our 7-12-09 trip where we went to Pere Marquette, Babler, Robertson's, Meramec.

Directions: Take I-44 to St. Louis, then take I-270 west to Hwy 255 north. Turn left on Hwy 100. Go along the river road (runs along side the Mississippi river on the north side of the river) westward. Entrance to the park is on Hwy 100.

An alternant route is I-44 to I-270 west, to Hwy 367 to Hwy 67 to Hwy 100. Can't remember which was is best

Size of park: somewhat small.

RV Camping: 80 sites that are very old. None with water. Sites are all gravel and not level. All 80 spots are on one area. Close together spots. The one area has 4 intersecting roads and none are marked with any one-way markers or any signs at all.  Has big trees. We stayed at spot #64. Spot 67 and 69, the breakers blew instantly. 

Cost of RV spots:

Showers and restrooms: One old bathroom area, including the adjacent tent camping area.

Places to let the dogs run without leashes: not really. We did but only because the area we stayed had no people around us.

Cabins:

Length of trails:

Animals we saw:

Sites to see inside the park:

Sites to see outside the park:
We went to St. Louis and saw Grant's Farm and Ulysses S. Grant's home (which was next to the farm). At Grants farm is the Clydesdales. In the farm, you ride a tram that takes you to a billy goat children's petting area where you can buy a bottle of milk to feed the billy goats. Area also has 2 shows - a bird show and elephant show. A small zoo also with a baby camel, huge turtles (2), worlds largest type deer, monkeys, lots of different type of birds. While on the tram you can see birds and other animals.

We also went to Forest Park, a huge park area that includes the St. Louis zoo and art museum (which we went into because the zoo closed at 5:00 PM and we got there at 3:00 PM. The entrance to the art museum has a huge bronze sculpture of St. Louis on a horse. The building itself was a massive building.

Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge - we walked this trail and saw a large beaver. The trail runs along the river. Trail is only about 20 feet from the river. Trails is about 3 miles long and small rock lined. Very nice walk. Trail is flat (which I like).

Ragin Rivers Water Park - in Grafton. It is like Big Splash in Tulsa.

The Brussels ferry, in Grafton, takes you to Brussels and some bird sanctuaries about 1 mile south which we went to. Beautiful farm land along the road to Brussels. Population of Brussels - 150.

Argosy Casino is in Afton on the Mississippi river. (we did not go in).

2 nicer restaurants in Grafton - Mississippi Half Step (we did not go in), and Lilly's Family Dining - we had breakfast here. Very family oriented, simple tables and chairs. 

Legend of Piasa - old Indian bird (monster bird actually) legend. In Alton.

Alton Museum of History - we went here. Almost didn't because it was such a run down building. Be sure to take the guided tour with the tour guide telling you the history of Alton.  Costs $3 per person.

Across the street was a statue of the tallest man in the world - Robert Wadlow. He was 8' 11".  He died at the age of 22.

Alton made its fortune in transportation of local farm foods to St. Louis (and other cities) via the river and rock mining.

 

Pros: none.

Cons:
Too much traffic and intersecting roads in St. Louis.
No close grocery stores.
This park was too far away from St. Louis. Speed limit thru Grafton is 30 MPH ! Takes along time to get to St. Louis. No highways.

What out for the hot fish sandwiches. We had one at Beasley's and did not like it.
(Hot fish sandwiches are a popularly advertised item in Grafton).

We blew the breakers on 2 spots before we found a spot that did not blow the breakers immediately.

Fishing: none

Date built: along time ago

US Army Corps of Engineers facilities: None

Other info:
Closest Walmart - 19 miles away in Jerseyville, Ill. Closest grocery store is a convenience store in Grafton called Jimbos. 2 restaurants in Grafton.
There is a ferry in Grafton that is free.
In Alton, Hwy 67 has all the food restaurants.
There is a bicycle trail that runs from Alton thru the Pere Marquette park and runs along the river road on Hwy 100.

St. Louis is like the older parts of Tulsa but much bigger and grander. The suburbs houses are old with small yards.

This is Illinois largest state park.

Nearest cities: 2

Grafton, 3 miles east. Population 600. A great little Victorian town popular with bikers. Grafton is known for bald eagles and they have a sign that says "Home of the winterizing bald eagles". No grocery stores, just a convenience store called Jimbos.

Elsah - between Grafton and Alton. They had the best public bathrooms I have ever seen. In fact, it is the only city run, public bathroom I have seen. Also in the town in the Principia College. We drove thru it. One of the most beautiful colleges I have ever seen. I highly recommend driving thru this college. College has 500 students. A Christian Science college.

Alton - 12 miles east. But the road is slow and takes along time to get there.

Dogs we took: Snowflake, Gap, Sache

Website:

 

 

 

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Best known for it's:

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Date stayed:

Directions:

Size of park:

RV Camping:

Cost of RV spots:

Showers and restrooms:

Places to let the dogs run without leashes:

Cabins:

Length of trails:

Animals we saw:

Sites to see inside the park:

Sites to see outside the park:

Pros:

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Fishing:

Date built:

US Army Corps of Engineers facilities:

Other info:

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Dogs we took:

Website:

 


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