Visitors Guide to the
Iliniwek Village
State Historic Site
Clark County, Missouri

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Missouri Historic Site Accessible Restrooms

On a high sand terrace above the Des Moines River floodplain in northeast Missouri is the Iliniwek Village State Historic Site. The site is considered the largest and best preserved remnant known of any village of the Illinois tribal group. The Illini were a vigorous, populous Algonquin nation who called themselves "Hileni" or "Iliniwek" which means "men." The Iliniwek Village State Historic Site was occupied from approximately 1640-1683 A.D. and was where the French explorers Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette first encountered Native Americans in 1673 in what is now the state of Missouri. The Jolliet-Marquette expedition journals indicated that this summer village had nearly 300 lodges and was laid out with streets. Evidence of early European contact appears in archaeological finds through glass beads, metal objects and Jesuit trade rings. Exhibits at the site interpret the history and daily life of the Illini and the Jolliet and Marquette expedition. A short walking trail crosses the site, and the location of an excavated Illini longhouse is marked to show its size.
The Missouri Audubon Society maintains a checklist for birds that can be seen at this site.

Visiting the Iliniwek Village State Historic Site
The Iliniwek Village State Historic Site grounds are open from sunrise to sunset year-round.  From November through March, the entrance gate remains closed; however, limited parking is available outside the gate for walk-in visitation. Groups of five or more people may arrange for a tour by contacting Battle of Athens State Historic Site staff at 660-877-3871 in advance.
There is no charge to visit the Iliniwek State Historic Site.


Location: The Iliniwek Village State Historic Site is located near the Missouri/Iowa border east of Kahoka. To get to the site from St. Louis travel north on US-61 to MO-27. Turn left/north MO-27 and travel about 4.8 miles before turning right/east onto an unmarked gravel road. Take the gravel road .7 miles to an intersection. Turn left/north and travel .4 miles to the site entrance on the right.


Iliniwek Village State Historic Site - Official site maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Learn more about the Clark County area.

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