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Fort Kaskaskia

Camping and Shelter Use

Fort Kaskaskia offers both reservation and walk-in areas.  Please read all information here.  Reservations are required for the main overlook shelter and most electric hookup RV sites.  Primitive camping sites, basic electric sites with grass pads, and paved basic electrice sites #25-#29, are walk-in only.  Payment for walk-ins must be made to park staff or to the drop box at the site office before setting up camp..

To Make a Reservation:

  1. Go to ExploreMoreIL™.
  2. Call Customer Support at 866-716-6550


  • First-time users will be required to set up an account prior to making a reservation. This will require a valid email address.  You may also call customer support at 866-716-6550.
  • Walk-in day use shelters are available year-round.  The main overlook shelter is also available for walk-ins so long as it is not reserved.
  • Walk-in camping is available for electric sites 25-29 and all non-electric sites.  Fees for walk-in are cash or check only to park staff or put in the drop box at the site office.

        Nightly rates:  

        Non-electric sites:  $8.00.      

        Electric sites:  $18.00

        Day-use Shelter Reservations:  $50.00

  • Fort Kaskaskia's day-use areas are open year-round from 7 AM - 10 PM.  The grounds of the Pierre Menard home are open year-round from sunrise to sunset.  Tours are offered at the home during seasonal hours and may also be available by speaking with staff in the park or calling 618-859-3741.  Quiet hours in the campground are 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM.


Teachers in Illinois schools (grades prekindergarten through 12) can apply for grant funds to visit this site on a field trip with their students. Click here for the details.

Site Details

The overlook

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 region’s 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.

Garrison Hill Cemetery

Today’s 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 self-guided tour provides useful information about the history of this unique site.  Tours are available Tuesday - Sunday, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, and can be arranged by locating park staff or contacting 618-859-3741.

Accessibility Information

The main shelter/overlook has three handicap accessible parking spots.  A concrete sidewalk leads to pit privies at the main shelter.  The north shelter has one accessible parking spot located in front of the shelter along the park road.  There is a concrete sidewalk leading to the shelter.  In the campground, sites 22 and 24 are designated handicap accessible sites with concrete pads.  Concrete sideswalks lead to pit privies in the campground.