Welcome to Calhoun County! Calhoun County is a narrow peninsula of mostly high ground located between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
The county was organized in 1825. Today, Calhoun County has a population of 5,177 people with miles of lush farmland and countryside to explore. Known for Calhoun County peaches in the summer and apples in the fall, the county offers miles of prosperous farms and orchards, which are enjoyed by day-trippers who visit by car, boat, motorcycle, bicycle or tour bus. The county offers a restful respite to those journeying from the St. Louis region and beyond. Take the time to explore the quaint communities making Calhoun County Illinois a county for all seasons!
Nestled between the mighty Mississippi and Illinois rivers, Calhoun County can be accessed by crossing the Illinois River using either the free Brussels Ferry (just north of Grafton, IL) or the free Kampsville Ferry. Take the Golden Eagle Ferry across the Mississippi River either to or from Calhoun County for a fee.
In Hardin, the unique Joe Page Bridge is the only bridge access to the county, spanning the Illinois River and connecting to land routes in north bordering Pike County.
Calhoun County has 10 distinct communities, each with its own interesting past and characteristics. Dive into nature with Batchtown’s proximity to the Mississippi River and two wildlife refuges. Tour the Brussels Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Make time to see all Calhoun County and its quaint communities – Batchtown, Belleview, Brussels, Gilead, Golden Eagle, Hamburg, Hardin, Kampsville, Meppen, and Michael – have to offer.
As you journey along, the gems of the communities can also be found in the historic sites, such as the Center for American Archeology in Kampsville.
Things to Do
For anyone who enjoys the beauty of nature all year long, "Calhoun is a County for All Seasons." Come visit Calhoun County by boat, car or bicycle and pick fruit, watch migratory birds, shop for antiques, visit historic sites or perhaps just escape for a quiet weekend away. The natural beauty of the Illinois River valley in close proximity to the Great River Road provide tremendous opportunities for an intimate experience with nature.
Outdoors & Recreation
Awesome adventures await all around Calhoun County. Explore the hills and hollows of McCully Heritage Project’s 940 acres. Catch a glimpse of the more than 200,000 waterfowl that make a stop at the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge each fall and spring during their biannual migration. From the history of Hardin to the heritage of Kampsville, this is your place to play.
Calhoun County is very popular in the fall when many visitors come to enjoy the beautiful transformation of the leaves. Additionally, because of its unique location between two rivers, many visitors come to observe migrating birds from the fall through the spring. Calhoun County is the second largest winter nesting area for the American Bald Eagle in North America.
It’s not a coincidence that Calhoun County is known for its produce, especially its nearly world-famous peaches. The county is home to seven orchards spread throughout its communities, with three each in Brussels and Golden Eagle and another in Hardin. From summer peaches to apples and pumpkins in the fall, pick your family fun destination – or better yet, make a plan to get to all seven.
Calhoun County is home to a couple beautiful flower shops, and Village Consignments in Brussels has vintage, farm décor and an endless supply of interesting wares to pick through.
Sizzling steaks served up hot off the grill. Hold out your plate for fried chicken, roast beef, homemade sausages, mashed potatoes, corn and more all dished out family-style. Or, dine by the riverside, especially in the winter time, to see the eagles swoop down for an afternoon bite to eat. Get your palate ready for a memorable dining experience that will have you traveling to Calhoun County for more.
From cabins in the country to quaint little guest houses tucked away in the hills, your restful respite is waiting for you in Calhoun County. Pull up a rocker on the front porch and watch the world go by, taking you a million miles from Monday.
From Old Settlers Days in Kampsville to eagle watching at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge in Brussels, Calhoun County has great events to keep the entire family busy.