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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 available for the main overlook shelter and RV sites 1-25.  RV sites and the shelter must be reserved through the IDNR camping portal.

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 and the grounds of the Pierre Menard home are open 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset for day-use areas.  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..

Accessibility Information

The Fort Kaskaskia site is accessed by turning NW off of Shawneetown Trail Road. There is only one way in and one way out returning down the road one entered in on. Traveling into the fort the first thing you come across is the earth works of the fort off to the SW side of the park road and there is no accessibility or parking to this area.

The next areas you come across is the south shelter and Menard cemetery SW of the park road and the Site Office/Maintenance shop and dump station area to the NE of the park road. None of these places are accessible or have accessible parking, although nothing is officially accessible, the site office has an asphalt entrance/parking area that could be accessed by a visitor easily.

The next area is the Garrison Hill Cemetery and there is no accessibility parking to this area either.

The main Shelter is the next area and there are three accessible parking spots. Two south of the shelter and one north of the shelter. There is a concrete sidewalk that leads to two accessible pit privies from the shelter.

The next area is the old stage area NE of the park road there is no accessibility or parking to this area.

Next is the north shelter NW of the park road and it has one accessible parking spot SE of this shelter and NW of the park road with a concrete sidewalk leading up to the shelter, there is no other accessible access to anything else in this area.

Moving forward, the park road will split, to the left (NW) leads to the primitive campground, there is no accessibility or parking to this area, and to the right (NE) leads to the B/E campground loop. Sites # 22 and # 24 are the designated accessible sites in this campground.  Both sites have a concrete pad and both sites require crossing an oil and chipped entrance/exit road to get on the concrete sidewalk paths that lead to two accessible pit privies.

The sites day use areas are open from sunrise to sunset. Access to the campsites is 24/7- 365. Quiet hours are from 10pm-7am. 

There is no shower house, museum, tours, or welcome center. Visitors are free to explore the site at their leisure.