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Starved Rock State Park, Utica

4.5
#2 of 9 in Trails in Illinois
State Park Hiking Trail
An ancient home of the Kaskaskia tribes, Starved Rock State Park is now famous for canyons and waterfalls and welcomes over 2 million guests annually. Nestled along the banks of Illinois River, the park offers cruises and water activities, 21 km (13 mi) of hiking trails, and organized activities throughout the year. Start at the visitor center, which has educational displays and maps. Take a trolley tour of the area, or participate in a guided tour of the 1874 Victorian mansion. Ask about tasting locally produced wines. Check out the gift shop's offerings of nature-related merchandise, such as birdhouses, nature games, binoculars, and books on wildlife. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Starved Rock State Park by using our Utica tour planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,221 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Been going to starve Rock for 45 years winter summer spring or fall is always a great place to visit especially love going in the winter during the eagle watch definitely a great place for the family ...  more »
  • We had a great time doing a family hike at this park. There were many interest rock formations and the terrain was even good for us older members of the group.  more »
  • Lots of stairs not noted on maps overlooks are pretty but overgrown for the river views. Lots of trash on trails by uncaring people. Go on weekdays. Parking is impossible on weekends and lot attendant...  more »
Google
  • Drove up for brunch with family, and stayed for a great day of hiking. The trails are scenic and seem to go on for miles. Trails range from manicured concrete to packed sand, where roots and terrain have been left untouched. You get clifftop vistas, and secluded backwoods waterfalls. The lodge equals those that you would experience in mountain regions, yet is right in our own back yard. Make it a day or a weekend. I think you will enjoy it.
  • Great time! Haven't been there since I was a kid. Now, many years later, taking my own kids. 5-year old son was able to navigate the trails and climbing on his own. 2-year old daughter was in a full-frame child carrier. I don't see any child under 4 being able to handle on their own; not just due to effort, but also the danger factor. There are some cliffs alongside many of the trails. All in all, a great time. We went on the 4th of July, fully expecting it to be packed. While it was busy, I feel like people were dispersed evenly throughout the park making it feel less busy than I know it was (with the exception of the parking lot). I highly recommend getting there early to get decent parking. We left the Chicago area around 730a and got there around 930a to a half-full parking lot, which looked pretty full when we were leaving a few hours later. Can't wait to go again, but maybe on a less busy day. Highly recommended for a not-TOO-far away destination for a day or weekend trip.
  • Love this place for hiking. Lots of fun for kids too! Make sure to get take flip flops or swim shoes for kids if they like to play in the water. The waterfall is very tempting for them but you can't see through the water so letting the kids go barefoot may not be the best idea. I always have swim shoes in my backpack for them and they have lots of fun running around in water.
  • My husband and I stopped by during a road trip. It was so pretty!! I loved that there were so many trails to go on. Even with all the people there, at times we felt like we were alone once we'd gone a few miles deep into the trails. Overall a great park with tons of things to do. I only wish there was a bit more information about the area and sights while there.
  • Awesome park, fantastic scenery. It's also great exercise. Check it out on a weekday evening if you want to miss the crowd. Sunday's are very crowded but understandably so. Only saw half the park can't wait to go back.

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