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Apple River (Illinois) facts for kids

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For the nearby village of the same name, see Apple River, Illinois.
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Apple River
Apple River IL Apple River Canyon State Park2.JPG
The confluence of the South Fork Apple River and the Apple River within Apple River Canyon State Park
Country United States
State Illinois, Wisconsin
Physical characteristics
Main source East of Shullsburg, Lafayette County, Wisconsin
River mouth Mississippi River
Northwest of Savanna, Carroll County, Illinois
Length 55 mi (89 km)
Discharge
  • Average rate:
    199 cu/ft. per sec.

The Apple River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, about 55 miles (89 km) long, in southwestern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois in the United States. It rises in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, and flows for most of its length in Illinois, through Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties. Along its course it passes through Apple River Canyon State Park and the town of Hanover. It flows into the Mississippi River about 7 mi (11 km) northwest of Savanna.

In Jo Daviess County, it collects two short tributaries known as the West Fork Apple River and South Fork Apple River.

Toponymy

Apple River was so named on account of the crabapple trees along its course. A folk etymology maintains the river derives its name from a German named Appel who fell near the river in the Black Hawk War.

Geology

The river is part of the Driftless Area of Illinois, a region that was bypassed by the last ice age; "the glacial sweep which ironed out hills and filled valleys in other parts of the state left this area unscratched. During the Ice Age, the Apple River had its original course reversed. It once flowed to the Pecatonica River. It now flows southwest to the Mississippi River. The result is a deep canyon, part of which is preserved in Apple River Canyon State Park.

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