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Illinois State Parks

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Southwestern Region
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site
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Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site © Kbh3rd / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The eroded earthen ramparts of French Fort Kaskaskia on the banks of the Mississippi River in the state of Illinois.
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site © Goodpairofshoes / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The view from Ft. Kaskaskia State Park overlooking Old Kaskaskia and the Mississippi River.
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site © Gretchen Steele
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4372 Park Road
Ellis Grove, Illinois   62241
(lat:37.9688 lon:-89.9106) map location

Phone: 618-859-3741
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site preserves the time-worn earthen remains of Fort Kaskaskia, constructed by the French ca. 1759 to defend the town of Kaskaskia. Founded in 1703, the town was for more than a century the regions principal commercial center, also serving from 1818 to 1820 as the first capital of Illinois. The small fort, containing only a three-room barrack and a kitchen, was apparently never fully completed. The fort was periodically occupied by French or U.S. troops until 1807 and sheltered local settlers during Indian scares rising from the War of 1812.
History of the Area
Todays historic site consists of four major sections the remains of Fort Kaskaskia, Garrison Hill Cemetery, the Mississippi River overlook and picnic area, and a large campground. The remnants of Fort Kaskaskia include long earthworks forming a rough square, with bastions at the corners. Garrison Hill Cemetery was established in 1891 by the General Assembly for the remains of early settlers whose graves were threatened by the flooding of Kaskaskia. A large monument erected in 1892 and commemorating the early settlers is also located in the cemetery. The grassy bluff overlooking the Mississippi provides a sweeping view of the river and Kaskaskia Island. Panels describe the rich history of Kaskaskia village, including its destruction in the 1880s-1890s by the Mississippi River. The overlook and nearby day-use area include picnic shelters with tables and grills. A campground includes tent-camping sites and thirty-two electrified sites. Playground equipment is located near each end of the day-use area. A footpath leads to the Pierre Menard Home State Historic Site, located at the bottom of the bluff.
The campground is open 24-7 for camping with quiet hours from 10pm to 7am. There is normally a host on duty on the weekends May - Oct but there is also an iron host self-check in station. Campsites are currently walk in only on a first come first serve basis.
You can enjoy river fishing in the nearby Mississippi River. Species include catfish, bass, bluegill and crappie among others.

The Kaskaskia River offers excellent opportunities for catching channel catfish and flathead catfish.

Pond fishing is also available with species such as largemouth bass, sunfish and carp present.

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site offers picnic areas with tables and grills, perfect for family outings or group gatherings.
The site offers birding opportunities with diverse species. It's a habitat for both migratory and resident birds.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 26 Solar Eclipse at the Fort: Fabulous by yodasister2
park review stars; one to five Upon entering the park, we were greeted by lovely volunteers, guided to a shady parking place, and offered solar glasses. My son, Zak, was right, this was the best place to view this awe inspiring event. Being with a crowd made the event special. Thank you park officials, volunteers, Chester, and Mother Nature for such a one in a life time experience.
September 8 by Charlie Griffith
park review stars; one to five We loved to camp here; It is so Peaceful and the folks there are very nice and kindhearted.
October 19 Beautiful fall view. by bakergirl
park review stars; one to five
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