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 site includes the Interpretive Center, the reconstructed Fort, and the Casper-Koester Cabin.

Interpretive Center

We recommend you start your visit 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. Restrooms, drinking fountain, and a soda vending machine are available at the Interpretive Center only

The Fort

Constructed in 1997, a exact sized replica 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 and its exhibit are still under construction and not open to the public.

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.  However, access to the inside of the Interpretive Center and the Fort is restricted.  

The Interpretive Center

The Log Cabin, inside the Fort

The Casper-Koester Cabin