Pere Marquette Trail System, Grafton

Directions: Pere Marquette State Park is 37 miles north of downtown St. Louis.  From St. Louis, take either 270 to 70 to 367 North (becomes 67).  Go over the Alton bridge to the Great River Road (Hwy 100) north to Grafton (about 15 miles) to Pere Marquette State Park.

Trail Information: This is a great trail system with miles of trails that rise above the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.  The trails are hilly and mostly single track with steep climbs and sharp downhills.  There are several scenic overlooks with views of the rivers and the vast farmlands across the rivers in Missouri.  Beautiful deciduous forests with multiple peaks and valleys.  At the base of the trails is a wonderful lodge with cabins and main lodge rooms.  There is also an interpretive center with displays of local wildlife including a life size bald eagle nest. 

Miscellaneous Information: This is a great trail for trail runners and is semi-famous for the Pere Marquette Trail 7.5 mile trail run billed as the toughest trail run in the Midwest.  Also, many hikers and runners will stop by Fast Eddie's in Alton for a post hike/run libation and meal.

Brett A. Rufkahr