Monday, June 23, 2014

#14: Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center

Here is one of two Illinois state parks that are cake locations. This is located north of St. Louis, on the river road, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. It's sad to say for an Illinoisan like me that I've never been here (besides getting the cake). But I know some people who love it up nephews have camped with the Boy Scouts there and my distant cousin got married in a small, private ceremony up there. Here are the facts:

  • It is Illinois' largest state park in area, which is 8,050 acres.
  • Park is named after Father (or Pere) Jacques Marquette, who led a 17th century exploration of the Mississippi River.
  • The park was founded in 1931 as the Piasa Bluffs State Park, but was later renamed to its current name.
  • Besides the lodge (which was built in the 1930s and has since expanded), there are other rich parts of the park, including 12 miles of walking trails. 
  • Animals that are found at the park are several different species of birds, deer and many others. Bald eagles are often seen there as well.
  • Several events are held here throughout the year, including some at the winery as well as small festivals, and parasailing.
The entrance sign

Sign at the lodge

The statue of Jacques 'Pere' Marquette

Front of the lodge

Statue of Mother Nature
The 'landscape cake', as called by its artist Katherine Nelson:
Top of the cake

Left side of the cake

Right side of the cake
Pere Marquette Lodge on Facebook
Pere Marquette State Park Wikipedia link
Official website

13653 Lodge Blvd., GRAFTON, IL, 62037
Cake artist: Katherine Nelson

UPDATE (9/4/2016): The cake is still there.

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