When its comes to beautiful scenery, very few parks in the Midwest can compare to Starved Rock State Park.  Whether you enjoy hiking along the nature trails or viewing the many spectacular overlooks along the Illinois River, recreational opportunities abound.

In 1966 Starved Rock State Park was named a National Historic Landmark, and now boosts more than 13 miles of well marked hiking trails, 18 canyons, and 14 different waterfalls!  There are also several scenic overlooks found throughout the park.  The best times to see waterfalls are in the spring when the snow and ice melt or after a heavy rainfall.

This beautiful park attracts over 2 million visitors a year and is consistently listed as the number 1 attraction in Illinois.

Picture is owned by Joseph Johanesse

In the Midwest, oftentimes hiking is limited to the Spring, Summer and Fall, as the cold weather keeps most off the trails in the winter. At Starved Rock, winter hikes offer amazing views of frozen waterfalls, and the ice covered trees, resemble a winter wonderland.  There is also Ice climbing on the frozen waterfalls, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Picture is owned by Vicki Valpatic

From picnicking to fishing to boating, from horseback riding to camping to enjoying winter sports, there’s so much to do that you’ll want to come back again and again.

Picture is owned by Em Lackas

You will know it the minute you enter the park, as you wind your car through the towering trees.  Starved Rock State Park is a world apart from anything else in Illinois!

Don’t Miss:  While there are 14 different waterfalls at Starved Rock and they are all beautiful in there own way, 6 of them really stand out above the rest.  The falls found in St. Louis, French, Wildcat, Tonty, Ottawa, and Kaskaskia Canyons must be seen to be believed.

Lodging:  The Starved Rock Lodge has two different lodging options,  a  rustic hotel room in the Lodge or a charming log cabin in the woods. The Lodge has a variety of rooms to choose from.  Ask about the pet-friendly cabins, two-room cabins or cabins with a fireplace! Relax and unwind in the indoor pool, hot tub and sauna!

Pit Stop: The Back Door Lounge is a great place to fuel up before a hike or cool off with a locally brewed craft beer.

Extended Play:  For an added bonus, stop by nearby Matthiessen  State Park, and check out two more gorgeous waterfalls located just 3 miles south of Starved Rock State Park.

Logistics:  Starved Rock State Park is situated along the south bank of the Illinois River, less than 100 miles from Chicago, at 2668 E 875th Rd., Oglesby, IL 61348.

Travel Smart:  Before venturing into the woods, be sure to pack sunscreen, bugspray, and plenty of snacks and drinking water.