Plan Your Visit


Know Before You Go

When visiting the Refuge it is important to plan ahead. Stop by the Refuge visitor center for maps and ask a Refuge staff person to help you become oriented to the area. When hiking, bring drinking water, sunscreen and insect repellent, also let friends or family know where you are going when exploring alone.

The Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is open week days from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the first two weekend days of each month from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. October through March. 

Phone: 618-883-2524  

Mailing Address:
Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
364 Wildlife Conservation Road
Brussels, IL 62013 


Points of Interest

Calhoun Division
See thousands of geese, ducks, and pelicans feeding in the fields and shallow wetlands of the Calhoun Division and on Swan Lake. Bald eagles use this area regularly during winter. Other birds enjoy the grassland habitat near the Refuge visitor center. View an abundance of wildlife from the observation decks near the visitor center.

Gilbert Lake Division
Gilbert Lake is a great place to seek solace and escape the demands of everyday life; bank fishing, bird watching and hiking the 3-mile gravel trail are allowed and encouraged. Gilbert Lake is closed each fall to provide sanctuary for migratory birds. Travel the National Scenic Byway (Illinois State Highway 100) to Gilbert Lake, which is adjacent to Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County, Illinois. An overlook/highway pull off is available along Hwy 100 between the Brussels Ferry and Pere Marquette State Park.

Download the Calhoun and Gilbert Lake Wildlife Viewing Areas/Trails Map.

Batchtown Division
Spend the day fishing, kayaking or canoeing in the Batchtown Division. Boat launches are located at the Prairie Pond unit and Gilead unit of the division. Both units offer quiet adventures in the backwaters of the Mississippi River.

Apple Creek Division
The Apple Creek Division, in Greene County, IL, differs from other areas of the Refuge in that hunting is permitted in the whole division in accordance with Illinois state hunting seasons and regulations. Big game hunting, migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and sport fishing are all allowed on the Apple Creek Division.

Clarksville Island Division
Take a drive to the city of Clarksville, MO this winter to view bald eagles on the refuge's Clarksville Island. Park at the city boat ramp and watch eagles across the river catching fish and perching in the trees on the island. 

Getting to the Refuge Visitor Center

If using a GPS to navigate to the refuge you will need to use a different address than our mailing address. Enter Wildlife Conservation Road, Brussels, IL. When you arrive at Wildlife Conservation Road road follow the signs to the refuge. GPS Coordinates for the refuge headquarters are 38°56'9.31"N 90°32'29.35"W.

From Alton, Illinois: Travel west 17 miles on Highway 100 (passing through the town of Grafton), then cross the Illinois River using the Brussels Ferry. Continue 4 miles, then turn right onto Hagen Road, continue on Hagen Road which  turns into Wildlife Conservation Road, follow signs to the Refuge headquarters. There is no fee for the Brussels Ferry, which is operated 24 hours per day by the Illinois Department of Transportation. When Brussels Ferry is closed see *. 

From St. Louis, Missouri: Take I-270 east to the MO-367 North exit. Stay on 367 N until you cross the Clark Bridge into Alton, Illinois. Turn left onto Lewis and Clark Blvd and travel to HWY 100. Turn left at the traffic light onto HWY 100. Follow remaining directions from Alton, IL. When Brussels Ferry is closed see *.

From St. Charles, Missouri: Cross the Mississippi River on the Golden Eagle Ferry. After leaving the ferry, travel two miles on Ferry Road to the intersection with Mississippi River Road, then turn right. This road meanders through rolling hills for 3.4 miles to the intersection with Illinois River Road. Turn right onto Illinois River Road, travel two miles, and turn left onto Hagen Road, continue on Hagen Road which  turns into Wildlife Conservation Road, following signs to the Refuge headquarters. There is a fee for the Golden Eagle Ferry, which is privately owned and on a daily schedule. When Golden Eagle Ferry is closed see **.  

*When Brussels Ferry is closed due to ice or high water travel North on Hwy 100 to Hardin, IL. Drive South on Illinois River Rd 14 miles from Hardin toward Brussels. Continue South through Brussels 3 miles until you see the sign for Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Swan Lake Boat Ramp. To check the status of the Brussels Ferry go to 

**When the Golden Eagle Ferry is closed due to ice or high water you can either cross the Mississippi River at Alton, IL and follow the directions above* or cross the Mississippi River by ferry at Winfield, MO. From the Winfield Ferry landing in Illinois, drive south on Mississippi River Rd to Schleeper Ln. At the intersection of Schleeper Ln and Illinois River Rd, turn south to Brussels, IL and follow the directions above*. Note: the Winfield Ferry only runs when the Golden Eagle Ferry is not operating. Check online at to see if the ferry is running.


 Refuge Map 2012