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Starved Rock State Park

Get ready to feel the excitement of Starved Rock State Park, a stunning natural wonder nestled less than 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

Hike through dramatic canyons adorned with cascading waterfalls, take in the beauty of the Illinois River, wonder at the wildlife, and find yourself in a place rich with history and beauty. Let’s explore!

kids paying with boulders either side of them

Starved Rock State Park Trails: Hiking Adventures Await

Hiking Starved Rock is a great adventure! More than 13 miles of scenic trails wind through the park, waiting for you to hike and explore at your own pace. Maps and color-coded posts guide your way through majestic bluffs and canyons. Stroll leisurely or push your limits – the choice is yours, with trails open from 7am until sunset.

Not sure where to start? Visit the Starved Rock Visitors Center. The friendly staff can help find the right adventures for you, complete with Starved Rock trail maps.

People looking up at a waterfall

Starved Rock Waterfall Wonders

Eighteen canyons wind their way through the park, and many feature their own waterfall. These Starved Rock waterfalls are at their mightiest in early spring, when the melting snow creates a powerful flow. After that, in summer, they often dry out. But you might also catch an amazing sight in winter after late-year rainfall: the icy curtains of frozen waterfalls!

Person climbing ice waterfall

Ice Climbing

Speaking of frozen waterfalls, in winter, experienced ice climbers can tackle the frozen falls of Wildcat, LaSalle, Ottawa, and Tonti Canyons. Be sure to check the rules and guidelines from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources first. 

Due to the soft nature of the park's sandstone, no rock climbing is permitted in Starved Rock State Park at any time of year.

A family of four sitting down for a rest on rocks in front of a waterfall

Starved Rock Family Fun

Starved Rock offers a plethora of activities perfect for families. Take a scenic ride on the Starved Rock State Park trolley, visit the interpretive center filled with interactive exhibits, or have a picnic lunch with stunning canyon views.

Three Kayakers at Starved Rock Ottawa.

Take to the Water

The Illinois River provides opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting, with rentals and tours available. A little further south, the Vermilion River offers whitewater rafting adventures for all skill levels.

A bridge spanning a river at sunset, seen from the riverbank

Starved Rock Fishing: Cast a Line

If angling is your game, then try fishing at Starved Rock. You can cast your line in the Illinois and Vermilion Rivers, where white bass, catfish, and more await. Lone Point Shelter offers boat launches, and guided fishing tours are available if you'd like some help or company reeling in a big one. Please note: you will need a valid fishing license.

Eagle flying

Go Where the Eagles Fly

Bald eagles grace the park year-round, though the viewing opportunities are particularly good in winter, which the park celebrates with Eagle Week in January.

Starved Rock Accommodation

After a day of adventure, you'll be ready to enjoy a good night's rest! Luckily, the accommodation near Starved Rock State Park is plenty. Here's the lowdown on some of the Starved Rock State Park hotels and Starved Rock campgrounds.

Hotels Near Starved Rock

At the Starved Rock Lodge & Cabins, you can choose from rustic hotel rooms, cozy cabins, or modern hotel wing rooms. The Lodge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers a unique blend of rustic charm and Midwestern hospitality. For a Starved Rock hotel with even more family fun, try the Grand Bear Resort, where you can mix your outdoor adventure with indoor water park excitement.

Starved Rock Camping

To get even closer to nature, consider the Starved Rock Family Campground, a beautiful setting near the park perfect for enjoying nature's serenity. It's also great for stargazing!

Food and drink near Starved Rock

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