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Hiking Guide
Pere Marquette State Park


Hikers enjoy the view atop the Goat Cliff Trail

Hikers will find a variety of hiking opportunities at the park with 10 trails that total approximately 12 miles. The trails' ratings range from easy to difficult and travel through a variety of habitats. There are 9 scenic overlooks along the trails that provide the hiker with a panorama of the countryside. The trails are color-coded and are clearly marked with paint on the trees and signposts.

Index to the Hiking Trails

Trail Difficulty Distance
Goat Cliff Moderate 1 1/2 miles
Dogwood Moderate 1/2 mile
Ridge Difficult 1/4 mile
Ravine Easy 1/2 mile
Hickory Moderate 1/2 mile
Hickory North Moderate 1 mile
Hickory South Moderate 1 1/2 miles
Fern Hollow Moderate 2 1/2 miles
Rattlesnake Moderate 1/4 mile
Oak Moderate 1/4 mile
Map to the all of the Hiking Trails

Hiking opportunities in the area are not limited to the Park. Travel north on the Great River Road (Route 100) to the town of Kampsville to find 12 miles of nature trails at the McCully Heritage Project. These trails meander through woodlands, wetlands, prairie and agricultural areas. Adjacent to the Pere Marquette Park's Marina area is the three mile long Gilbert Lake Hiking Trail with its wetland habitat and bird watching opportunities. Cross the Illinois River via the Brussels Free Ferry and take advantage of the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge which is part of Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge. Many hikers who enjoy an easy walk down paved trails utilize the Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail.

Leaves of Three
Let it Be!

Poison Ivy is common to Pere Marquette State Park, likes sunlight and is often found at the edge of the hiking trails. Poison Ivy can be a vine or a low shrub, has droopy, compound leaves which consist of triple leaflets that can be smooth or irregularly toothed. The leaves are reddish in the spring, turn green during the summer, and some Poison Ivy plants turn various shades of gold or red in the fall. All parts of Poison Ivy, even its pollen, are potentially irritating and remain toxic in all seasons. Poison Ivy resembles Virginia Creeper, another common plant in the Park except that Virginia Creeper has five leaflets.


Many Poison Ivy plants turn a brilliant red in early fall

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