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  Frank Holten - State Recreation Area   

West-Central Region

4500 Pocket Road
East St. Louis, IL 62205

Grand Marais Golf Course

Picture of sunset
Site Map Golf Course Recreation
Boating Hunting Virtual Tour
Concession Natural Features


Fishing Picnicking  

Located within sight of St. Louis Gateway Arch, Frank Holten is an urban site almost entirely surrounded by East St. Louis. The 1,080-acre St. Clair County park features an 18-hole golf course and facilities for fishing, picnicking and other outdoor recreational activities.

Established in 1964 and named Grand Marais, the name was changed to Frank Holten on May 1, 1967, in honor of the late distinguished legislator from East St. Louis. First elected in 1916, Holten served 48 years in the Illinois General Assembly.

Natural Features

In addition to the lakes and facilities located at Frank Holten, the park features a diversity of plant and animal life. Shade and decorative trees include Scotch pine, maple, oak, poplar, sycamore, ginko, tulip, redbud, sweetgum and wild cherry. Water lily, lilac, arrowhead, bridal wreath, honeysuckle bush and mock orange are some of the blossoming flowers and bushes. Many common wildlife species may be viewed in the park, such as rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, fox, groundhog, muskrat and mink.


Frank Holten has one of the largest day use areas in the area. The park area consists of picnic shelters, barbecue pits, sanitation facilities and drinking fountains. The facility can accommodate up to 2,000 patrons per day, with adequate parking for all.

Concession Stand

A variety of refreshments are offered, including sandwiches, snack items and soft drinks. The stand is located in the golf clubhouse.


Frank Holten has two lakes - Whispering Willow Lake and Grand Marais Lake - with a combined water surface of 208 acres and 5 miles of shoreline. Wispering Willow Lake was rehabilitated in 1983 and stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Boat and bank fishing is allowed, but boat anglers must use trolling motors or motors no larger than 10 horsepower. Daily creel and length limits are in effect for some sport species. Anglers are advised to check with the site for special regulations before fishing.


Boat launch ramps are available on Wispering Willow and Grand Marais lakes. No boat rentals exist at Frank Holten.


Frank Holten has an 18-hole golf course, named Grand Marais. The park also offers a combined football-soccer field, a cross-country track, basketball courts and baseball diamonds.

  • While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
  • At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
  • Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
  • Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
  • We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
  • For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
  • Telecommunication Device for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175 for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.

Parks & Recreation

Illinois Dept.of Natural Resources
Office of Land Management
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
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