Starved Rock State Park
|Starved Rock State Park|
|Starved Rock as viewed from the north side of the Illinois River, and the Illinois Waterway channel.|
|Map of the U.S. state of Illinois showing the location of Starved Rock State Park|
|Starved Rock State Park|
Starved Rock State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Illinois, characterized by the many canyons within its 2,630 acres . Located just southeast of the village of Utica, in Deer Park Township, LaSalle County, Illinois, along the south bank of the Illinois River, the park hosts over two million visitors annually, the most for any Illinois state park.
In the late 19th century, parkland around ‘Starved Rock’ was developed as a vacation resort. The resort was acquired by the State of Illinois in 1911 for a state park, which it remains today. Facilities in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, which have also gained historic designation.
A flood from a melting glacier, known as the Kankakee Torrent, which took place approximately 14,00019,000 years ago led to the topography of the site and its exposed rock canyons. Diverse forest plant life exists in the park and the area supports several wild animal species. Of particular interest has been sport fishing species.
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At Tangled Roots we celebrate what comes naturally the delicious local craft beers we serve, brewed from Illinois hops and barley grown on our own farms our Farm to Table menus, featuring chef-crafted dishes made from fresh ingredients sourced from local growers and farmers and the wonderfully diverse tastes and styles of our guests, all of whom find a warm welcome and a great experience at any of our unique local brewpubs. Embrace Nature.
Hit The Trails And Soak Up The Views On A Scenic Hike
You could spend your whole vacation hiking the 18 canyons at Starved Rock State Park, but here are a few you really shouldnt miss. Pro tip: Before hitting the trails, make sure to download Cornells free Merlin Bird ID App so you can geek out throughout the parks many prime birding destinations and keep a record of your finds for post-trip slideshows .
Wildcat Canyon, situated one mile from the Visitors Center, not only features the tallest waterfall in the park, but it also houses the deepest canyon. Go figure. Lasalle Canyon is a lush and winding romp through the forest. At the end, youll be rewarded with a 25 foot waterfall perfect for a refreshing dip. Eagle Cliff Overlook sits less than a mile from the Visitors Center and comes correct with a wonderful overlook of the Illinois River complete with eagles, pelicans, and herons soaring over head.
Ottawa Canyon and Kaskaskia Canyon are a true two-fer. These twin trails are a bit less traveled and feature huge amphitheatre caverns plus picture-perfect waterfalls bound to blow your thirsty mind. Both can be accessed through the trailhead at the designated Ottawa/Kaskaskia Canyon parking lot, making it an easy one mile course.
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Drink Your Way Through The Region
On Mill Street in Utica, dip your toes into local agriculture at tasting room. Their production vineyard sits on repurposed corn and soybean fields, which have been in the family for generations. Every sip of their Illinois-born vino is teeming with tender love and corn er, care. Across Mill Street, Lodi Tap keeps it real with craft beers, excellent burgers, and enormous Bavarian pretzels. Clarks Run Creek Gifts & Wine, also on Mill Street, serves a diverse selection of delicious wine, all of which go down that much sweeter while lounging about their sundrenched patio. Finish off your trip with a send-off breakfast at John and Rina’s, family-run daytime joint ideal for post-hike carbo-loading.
Among nearby Ottawas culinary enticements is Tangled Roots Brewery Company, dishing up scrumptious bites alongside a wide array of house-brewed beers. To boot, proceeds from some of the venerable outposts sudsy lineup benefit local causes. Take the Path Mender Pale Ale, for instance, which helps raise money to preserve the trails at Starved Rock. Drinking for good always tastes better.
Throwing your own campfire-fueled dinner party? Drop by Boggios Orchard in Granville to load up on farm fresh produce and fragrant baked goods. Stop in and say hello to the friendly resident farm animals while youre at it.
Hotels In Starved Rock State Park In Illinois
There are lots of hotels in the park. However, here are a few where you can check-in or book from. Also, there is a nice Starved Rock State Park in Illinois restaurant to check-in for a delicious meal.
- La Quinta inn starved rock state park
- Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
- Grand Bear Resort at Starved Rock
- Best Western Oglesby Inn
- Brightwood Inn
La Quinta inn starved rock state park
Meanwhile, La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Peru Starved Rock State Park in Illinois is one of the luxurious hotels in the park. While in this hotel, you will enjoy free Wifi. There is a flat Tv screen that has HD channels. Nevertheless, there are microwaves, mini-fridge, and coffeemakers here. However, it lies near Interstate 80 and it is a 10.3-mile drive away. Also, it is a 15-mile drive away to Buffalo Rock State Park. Furthermore, your arrival here takes you to suites or living rooms that have whirlpool tubs. Also, you are allowed to use the fitness room and eat continental breakfast. However, there is a business centre to do anything that concerns you. Finally, there is a meeting room and a parking space in La Quinta inn starved rock state park.
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Get A Taste Of The Great Outdoors In Central Illinois
Look, it’s going to be a hot July and August, but that doesn’t mean you have to seek refuge under a patio umbrella or post up at the Humboldt Park splash pad all summer. Mother nature has plenty of natural showers and shady oak trees at Starved Rock State Park , ready and waiting just under two hours southwest of Chicago.
Whether you call the midwest home or not, youre likely all too familiar with the large stretches of uneventful topography and endless cornfields that populate our humble region. Illinois, in fact, is ranked second to Iowa in corn production and second to Florida in flatness. But despite these geographical and agricultural silver medals, the states terrain is more diverse than one might think, especially the closer you get to the Illinois River. Ancient glaciers helped form Starved Rocks famous craggy butte hanging 125 feet above the Illinois River as well as the textured landscape running through its two adjacent state parks, Matthiessen and Buffalo Rock. Together this outdoor trifecta provides enough trails, canyons, and rushing waterfalls to make all your Instagram followers stop and question that geo-location tag.
Here is a list of eight reasons to head out on a Prairie State trip full of natural beauty, outdoor thrills, and even a taste of luxury.
Shop Local In Downtown Ottawa
Ottawa has shops for everyone and their own unique tastes!Stop into A Mess of Things and purchase some handmade jewelry from Janine Irene. And if thats not your thing, her store also has vintage accessories, bath bombs, tea, premium paint products and more!Another great, eclectic store, Déjà Vu is also a MUST-visit with its variety of unique gifts, florals and crafts.Of course, all this shopping might be a tad bit boring for the kiddos, so to keep them entertained, stop into Rock Paper Scissors.With puzzles, toys, stuffed animals and crafts, your little ones are sure to find something theyll love.If incense, candles, tie-dye and crystals are some of your favorite things, then definitely pop into Rock Soul Love. Theyre always so friendly and helpful.While youre in town, check out the local art scene, too. Open Space Art Gallery is a contemporary community arts center that features Illinois-based artists. They also teach classes to all ages and skill levels.And thats not all Ottawa has going on. There are many more fun stores downtown, so be sure to spend some time to check them all out.
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In Northern Illinois A State Park Draws Crowds To Its Forest Canyons And Riverside Cliffs
Steps take visitors up to Council Overhang.
Like many places, Starved Rock State Park has a name whose origin is lost in the mists of time.
Supposedly, the Potawatomi and Ottawa trapped a band of Illini on a 125-foot butte along the Illinois River. However, anyone whos actually climbed up Starved Rock and millions of tourists have can see that no one could defend it long enough to starve.
Its like Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, says Kathy Higdon of the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center across the river. Its a legend, like the Lovers Leaps we’ve got all over the place.
Carved Rock would make more sense. At the end of the last Ice Age, a flood of glacial meltwater ate away the softest rock along its path, turning the riverside cliffs into Swiss cheese.
The water also cut a string of 18 canyons, which seem like mirages in the middle of Illinois farmland.
Easily reached by park trails, theyre cool refuges with towering walls of sandstone, carved in the eerily skeletal style also seen in underground caves. From clefts atop cliffs, water cascades into pools, some with beaches of white sand that has sloughed off the soft walls.
These canyons have drawn visitors ever since Marquette and Jolliet passed by on their way back from the Mississippi in 1673.
Across the river, the French explorers found a village of 1,000 hospitable Illini farmers, for whom their arrival marked the beginning of the end.
The lodge was built in the 1930s by CCC workers.
Matthiessen State Park Is Three Miles West
I love Starved Rock State Park and have visited there several times. But of all the canyons in the area, I think I like the main canyon at Matthiessen State Park the best.
Matthiessen State Park is in the same area and provides maybe the best walking trail in the region. The river here cuts a deep canyon through the sandstone as it meanders down to the Vermilion River . The loop trail lets you see all parts of that canyon including two bridges across the canyon and a stairway that will take you down to the bottom.
There are two areas to Matthiessen State Park the Dells Area and the River Area. To find this canyon trail, youll want to follow the signs to the Dells Area. From there, youll descend a long stairway down into the canyon and can take the loop trail either direction. Or, if you just want to see the canyon and then return to your car, walk straight across the bridge and look down.
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If You Are Not Fully Vaccinated And Allowed To Travel To The United States By Air Through An Exception
- Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after arrival, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
- Stay at home or in your hotel room and self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if you test negative, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
- Isolate if your test result is positive or you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
- If you intend to stay in the United States for 60 days or longer, you must become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States or as soon as medically appropriate, unless you have a medical contraindication or are too young to be vaccinated.
Isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected. Learn what to do and when it is safe to be around others.
Fort St Louis Du Rocher
French explorers led by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henry de Tonty built Fort St. Louis on the large butte by the river in the winter of 1682. Called Le Rocher, the butte provided an advantageous position for the fort above the Illinois River. A wooden palisade was the only form of defense that La Salle used in securing the site. Inside the fort were a few wooden houses and native shelters. The French intended St. Louis to be the first of several forts to defend against English incursions and keep their settlements confined to the East Coast. Accompanying the French to the region were allied members of several native tribes from eastern areas, who integrated with the Kaskaskia: the Miami, Shawnee, and Mahican. The tribes established a new settlement at the base of the butte at a site now known as Hotel Plaza. After La Salle’s five year monopoly ended, Governor Joseph-Antoine de La Barre wished to obtain Fort St. Louis along with Fort Frontenac for himself. By orders of the governor, traders and his officer were escorted to Illinois. On August 11, 1683, Prudhomme obtained approximately one and three quarters of a mile of the north portage shore.
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Cabins At Starved Rock State Park
There are a lot of cabins in the park. Although, there are 2 cabins at the Starved Rock that one can easily locate. However, the Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Centre is one of the coolest places to lodge. Also, the Starved Rock Cabins made with woods is a good place to relax too. These two are very popular in the park. Nevertheless, one can always book hotels in the nearest town.
Explore Matthiessen State Park
If youre in the area why not visit 2 alluring nature parks instead of just 1.
Matthiessen State Park is just 5 minutes from Starved Rock and offers a little more off-the-beaten-path experience.
Starved Rock is popular and Matthiessen often serves as a backup plan if its closed due to overcrowding.
The park however really deserves a little more love than just that. In fact, because the two parks are so close to each other, it makes sense that they are really very much alike. Matthiessen State Park is also built around canyons and as you explore the park you will come across waterfalls and lots of water in the form of rivers, creeks, and lakes.
The park can be discovered on foot but you will also find horseback riding trails.
In winter some of the trails are groomed for cross country skiing.
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Starved Rock Camping: What You Need To Know And The Most Popular Times To Visit
State Parks are some of the best places in the nation to go camping. Starved Rock State Park is one of the best in Illinois. While it is quite easy to access this park and set up for a wonderful stay here, with a few tips, tricks, and tools of the trade, your stay here will be made even simpler and more enjoyable. You definitely wont be starving for information after reading all about Starved Rock camping. This is what you need to know including the most popular times to visit.
Tips For Visiting Starved Rock In Winter
Weve compiled the best Starved Rock tips for your next adventure:
- Check out our guides on where to stay near Starved Rock
- Stop by the visitor center
Make this your first stop at Starved Rock. Pick up trail maps and talk to Park staff for trail suggestions and important information.
Tourism brochures, a gift shop, and exhibits displaying the parks history, geology, and ecology are also available.
- Wear warm clothes and waterproof boots
Temperatures can drop below freezing so it is important to dress safely as well as comfortably. Waterproof boots, wool socks, and layers are essential. Make sure you have a scarf for the wind as well!
- Pack backup clothing
There is nothing worse than waking up to finding your boots, hat, or mittens to still be wet from the day before. Make sure to properly lay out your snowy clothing so it has time to dry. If it still doesnt dry, at least you have extras!
- Bring ice cleats
While major parts of the trails are flat, you will also come across some staircases to enter or exit the canyons. These may become slippery in winter, so make sure to bring ice cleats to protect yourself and prevent an unnecessary injury.
- Buy hand and foot warmers
These are available at many convenience stores during the winter months. Simply buy a few packs, rub them together, and stick them in your mittens or boots for up to ten hours of heat. They are the best way to keep your fingers and toes warm!
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Brunch At The Lodge On Sunday Morning
This might be the best part of the entire experience at Starved Rock. On Sunday morning in the lodge, the restaurant has an incredible Sunday brunch buffet. Im not sure Ive ever seen more food put out for a Sunday brunch.
Make sure to call ahead for reservations and brunch availability given current restrictions on buffets in Illinois. Weve eaten both the buffet at Starved Rock Lodge as well as the weekday breakfast out on the veranda and both were incredible. Theres just something about breakfast at an old stone lodge.