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Buffalo Rock State Park, Ottawa

3.9
#21 of 37 in Nature in Illinois
State Park Nature / Park
Buffalo Rock State Park & Effigy Tumuli is an Illinois state park on in LaSalle County, Illinois, USA. The park is located in LaSalle County next to Starved Rock State Park, and was once used as a "blind canyon" for Indians to capture buffalo. Effigy Tumuli consists of five earth art animal sculptures native to the Illinois River was constructed as a tribute to Native American tradition. The park is located 5mi east of Utica, Illinois (Starved Rock State Park), and approximately 85mi southwest of Chicago, Illinois. Now, this sandstone bluff carved by the Illinois River during the Pleistocene epoch, serves as a State Park for local residents and tourists.HistoryThe area of Buffalo Rock was the home of the Illinois Indians when Louis Jolliet, the French explorer, and the Jesuit missionary priest Father Jacques Marquette made their trip up the Illinois River in 1673. Later, the Illinois Tribe was virtually annihilated in protracted warfare with the aggressive Iroquois.Buffalo Rock State Park served as an early military, trading, and missionary post for the French. During the winter of 1682-1683, LaSalle and Tonty built Fort St. Louis on Starved Rock, and gathered 4,000 Indian warriors at Buffalo Rock to form a confederation against the Iroquois. The Miami, one of the tribes in the confederation, built their own fort on Buffalo Rock.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
80 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The effigy tumuli trail was a wash. We hiked in but most of the identifying markers were missing. I think we may have been at one of the effigies....not sure! Then we walked over to see the buffalo......  more »
  • We come to the trail almost every time we camp out that way. We really enjoy it. But this time there was our favorite trail blocked off due to downed trees. I am assuming due to the tornado months ago...  more »
  • Not large crowds, easy to get to, beautiful views. Similar to Starved Rock, parking was good. Spent 3 hours here.  more »
Google
  • I love this park. Great spot for walking a dog, going for a jog, or a quick easy hike. It's has absolutely beautiful views and great spots to hang out with family. I recommend for anyone looking to enjoy nature on a morning or evening.
  • The BISON were super chill. Cool shaded area for viewing. Saw no buffaloes however.
  • Simple park with beautiful, high views of the Illinois River Valley. On the smaller side, but virtually unoccupied (only 1 or 2 cars) compared to Starved Rock (often filled to capacity).
  • Nice state park for a hike. Sandstone bluffs overlooking the Illinois River... yes, even bison in a fenced enclosure.
  • Good time! This park has some nice gravel walkways which is better than some of the other parks when we've had lots of rain

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