Visitors Guide to
Local Attractions
in Randolph County, Illinois
   
The attractions of Randolph county reflect its rich and varied history. Discover French colonial life at Fort De Chartres or the Pierre Menard Home. Illinois played a part in the American Revolution when George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia. Randolph County has numerous historic sites, museums and natural areas.
 
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Baldwin Lake
State Fish & Wildlife Area
10981 Conservation Road
Baldwin, IL
618-785-2555
  Baldwin Lake is a 2,018-acre power plant water-cooling lake that features excellent fishing and wildlife viewing. The site also features picnicking and primitive camping.
   
Charter Oak School
9272 Schuline Road
Schuline, IL
618-443-2812
  Owned by the Randolph County Historical Society, the Charter Oak School is one of the few remaining octagonal-shaped, one-room, school buildings in America. Open during the annual Corn Fest in August and by appointment.
Cohen Mansion
Buena Vista Drive
Chester, IL
618-826-3913
  Built in 1855, this ante-bellum mansion has a spectacular view of the Mississippi River. This ten room, white frame home is now used as a community center and is open to group tours.
   
Creole House
Market Street
Prairie du Rocher, IL
618-284-3319
  Owned by the Randolph County Historical Society, this 19th century example of French Creole and American architecture and has been completely restored to reflect life during this period. Open during special events and by appointment.
   
Fort de Chartres
State Historic Site

1350 IL-155
Prairie du Rocher, IL
618-284-7230
  Fort de Chartres is a reconstructed 18th century stone fort located near the Mississippi River. The site also includes the original powder magazine, the Piethman Museum, several "ghosted" buildings, and a typical French colonial farm. There are many popular events held throughout the year on the grounds.
   
Fort Kaskaskia
State Historic Site

4272 Park Road
Ellis Grove, IL
618-859-3741
  Situated on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, this site preserves the remnants of the fort that protected the city that was once the administrative center for the French in the Mississippi Valley. Garrison Hill cemetery is located on the grounds.
Governor Shadrack Bond Memorial
Evergreen Cemetery
Illinois Route-3
Chester, IL
  Gravesite of the first Governor of Illinois features a monument provided by the state in 1881.
   
Immaculate Conception Church
Kaskaskia, IL
618-366-2633
  Current church of the Mission of Immaculate Conception that was built in 1843 and moved to its present location in 1894 because of floods.
   
Kaskaskia Bell
State Historic Site

Kaskaskia, IL
618-859-3031
  Called the Liberty Bell of the West because it was rung by the town's citizens when George Rogers Clark liberated the town from the British on July 4, 1778.
   
Kaskaskia River
Recreation Area

4800 Lock and Dam Road
Modoc, IL
618-284-7160
  Kaskaskia River Recreation Area is located at the confluence of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. The area offers picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, and camping. The site is the location of the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam which has a small visitors center and the staff offers tours of the lock and dam. The Confluence Heritage Area has a handicapped accessible 1/2 mile trail and an amphitheater along the river front for special programs.
   
Mary's River Covered Bridge
IL-150 between Chester and Bremen
  Built 1854 to accommodate travelers on the Old Plank Road, this bridge is the only example of a covered bridge left in Southern Illinois.
   
Pierre Menard Home
State Historic Site

4230 Kaskaskia Street
Ellis Grove, IL
618-859-3031
  Built in the early 19th century for local fur trader, entrepreneur, and Illinois' first Lt. Governor Pierre Menard. The home is the one of the finest examples of French Colonial architecture in the middle Mississippi River valley.
   
Misselhorn Art Gallery
611 W. Second Street
Sparta, IL
618-443-5668
  Housed in the old GM&O railroad depot are over 2,000 works of the renown Southern Illinois sketch artist Roscoe Misselhorn who many call the Norman Rockwell of the Midwest. Also feature at the  Gallery are exhibits by contemporary artists.
   
Modoc Rock Shelter
Bluff Road
Modoc, IL
  A State Historical Site, this overhang under a cliff has been used by Native Americans for nearly 9,000 years.
   
Popeye Statue
Segar Memorial Park
Chester, IL
  A 6 foot statue of the famous cartoon character created by Chester native Elzie C. Segar can be found at the foot of the Chester Bridge.
   
Randolph County
Conservation Area

4301 S. Lake Drive
Chester, IL
618-826-2706
  Located 5 miles northeast of Chester in the rolling hill country of southern Illinois this 1,101-acre area has a 65-acre lake and offers fishing and hunting opportunities, picnicking, and hiking trails through scenic forest stands.
Randolph County
Museum & Archives Building
1 Taylor Street
Chester, IL
618-826-5000
  Built in 1864, the museum is a repository for French-Colonial-era records and special exhibits. Next door, the Randolph County Courthouse offers a panoramic view of the Mississippi River Valley from a 5th-floor, glassed-in observation deck, a mini-museum in the Jail lobby, and a flag display in the courtyard.
   
Turkey Bluffs
State Fish and Wildlife Area

4301 S. Lakeside Drive
Chester, IL
618-826-2706
  Turkey Bluffs State Fish and Wildlife Area is a 2,264 acre natural area located south of Chester. The site offers a picnic area and features scenic overlooks. Visitors can hike, observe wildlife and take advantage of 10 miles of horseback trails. Turkey Bluffs State Fish and Wildlife Area is open for fishing and hunting.
   
Nearby Attractions
  Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri
Ste. Genevieve has the largest concentration of French Colonial architecture in North America and includes the Bolduc House, the Amoreaux House, and the Maison Guibourd- Vallé. The influence of the American expansion into the area in the 19th century can be seen at the Felix Vallé State Historic Site. Nearby Hawn State Park and Pickle Springs Natural area offer nature lovers unique hiking opportunities.
  St. Clair & Monroe Counties, Illinois
Discover French colonial life at Cahokia, a town as old as Williamsburg, Virginia or visit the city of Belleville that offers its visitors a wide variety of attractions that includes an art gallery, museums, and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.
  Jefferson County, Missouri
Visitors to Jefferson County can explore the prehistoric lifestyles of Native Americans at Mastodon State Historic Site and Washington State Park. Other attractions include one of the last remaining covered bridges in Missouri at Sandy Creek Bridge State Historical Site and the Anheuser Estate in Kimmswick.
For Travelers Heading Up River
  Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway
The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area is one of America’s newer scenic byways. With over 20,000 acres of forest and wetlands at the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, it is a nature lovers paradise. Visitors will find spectacular colors in the fall and bald eagles in the winter. History abounds in the region ranging from the prehistoric Cahokia Mounds to sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
  St. Louis Area
Metropolitan St. Louis has a lot to offer its visitors. The area's most prominent attraction is the Gateway Arch, which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial complex that also includes the Museum of Westward Expansion. St. Louis has a number of outstanding public institutions that are free to visit including the Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum, and the Science Center. The St. Louis region has a number of green spaces for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Faust County Park, in St. Louis County, is home to many historical and cultural attractions including the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, a historical village, and the St. Louis Carousel. The county is also home to Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, the Powder Valley Conservation Area.
For Travelers Heading Down River
  The Mississippi Meets the Ohio River Region
After the Mississippi River passes St. Louis it begins to change character. When the Mississippi River meets the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois it is halfway on its journey to the sea. It is here that the brown muddy water of the Mississippi begins to mingle with the clearer water of the Ohio. Without the locks and dams the Mississippi begins to wind and curve so much so that the distance by water from Cape Girardeau to the Gulf of Mexico is twice the distance as a crow flies. The region where the Mississippi River meets the Ohio River is an area of transition in several respects both in terms of the flora and fauna but the culture begins to take on that of the Deep South. The Meeting the Ohio region of the Middle Mississippi River Valley offers it visitors a wide variety of options of activities to do and sites to see. Whether you’re looking for historical or cultural sites or a place to enjoy nature you’ll find it in this part of the country.
   

 
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FEATURED ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE GREAT RIVER ROAD
Felix Valle
State Historic Site
Route de Vin
Ste. Genevieve County
Fort de Chartres
State Historic Site
Hawn State Park
Ste. Genevieve, MO
     
 
 
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Ste. Genevieve &
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Historic St. Charles County
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