Apple River Fort is a replica of the original built by settlers in the early 1800s during the Blackhawk War. The modern day builders used axes and lathes to recreate the exact manner and methods of the older fort including hand-hewn ladders and firing stations. Fort tours are self guided or guided by knowledgeable docents and kids can scramble up and down the ladders and see what it looks like from the firing stations over the walls of the fort. There’s a small visitor center, a museum and living history events from May to October where volunteers dress up in period costumes and perform tasks with tools of early 19th century.
Elizabethtown is almost a 6 hour drive from Chicago, but if you find yourself in the area during the living history months, it’s definitely worth a visit. Open Wednesday-Sunday from 9-5pm.