Apple River Fort State Historic Site

Elizabeth, Illinois  USA

Visiting the Apple River Fort


May to October: Wednesday through Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm

November to April: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9 am to 4 pm

The Apple River Fort is open for visitors year-round, with hours varying by the season.  Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. 

The Fort consists of the Interpretive Center, the recreated Fort, and the Casper-Koester Cabin.

Interpretive Center

We recommend you start your tour at the Interpretive Center, where you'll find knowledgeable staff, a variety of exhibits, and a brief dramatic video depicting the attack on Apple River Fort and other events of the 1832 Black Hawk War.  There are also restrooms in the Interpretive Center.  Note that there are no restrooms at the Fort, so we recommend you pay a visit to the Interpretive Center restroom before you visit the Fort.

The Fort

Constructed in 1997, a replica of the fort stands next to the site of the original Apple River Fort.  The replica is based on archaeological investigations of the site which revealed information about the size and layout of the original fort.  You are encouraged to walk through the fort and peek into each of the buildings on your self-guided tour.

The replica fort is up a slight hill, 1/4 mile from the Interpretive Center building.  The path is a lovely tree-lined asphalt road with interpretive signage along the way.  You may walk or drive your car up the path to the Fort. 

Casper-Koester Cabin 

Along the path to the Fort way you will pass the Casper-Koester Cabin.  This original 1830s cabin was moved from just south of Scales Mounds to its new home at the Apple River Fort.  The cabin is still under construction and is not open to the public, but visitors are welcome to view the outside.   

Visiting During Closed Hours

If you can't make it during our open hours, you are still welcome to experience the Apple River Fort!

During closed hours you may still drive or walk along the path to the Fort and read the interpretive signage.  The gate to the Fort will be closed, but you can walk around the outside of the Fort to get a feel for the size of the structure. 

Please note that there is no access to the restrooms during closed hours.

The Interpretive Center

The Log Cabin, inside the Fort

The Casper Cabin