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Starved Rock State Park, Utica

(4.4/5 based on 1,100+ reviews on the web)
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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  • There are several trails at the State Park that you can hike. Grab a map at the hotel lodge and take off from there. Each trail is identified with distance and activity level. Most trails are accessib...  more »
  • Starved Rock is a great place to go and be active, whether hiking, boating, or taking the dog out for walk. There are usually a lot of families and kids. If you are looking for something more scenic, ...  more »
  • The trails were clean and well marked. Also enjoyed the facilities available to travelers. A small free 'museum' area with animal exhibits.  more »
  • This park is such a great gathering space! I got there early before the crowds really moved in. Made a quick stop to grab a map and took off on the trails. If you have the time, make a day of it! Each canyon is unique and the scenic views are breathtaking. If you have little ones, know that there are lots of stairs. Baby slings or carriers would be easier than stollers. There are plenty of places for pit stops to sit & take a break along the way. I can't wait to go back!
  • It's a nice park but very crowded. There are lots of hiking trails but unfortunately visitors have been throwing garbage everywhere and the place is a mess. Most of the stairs for climbing up and down the bluffs have litter piled beneath them. When you do find an area with no garbage, the scenery is nice. You get a great view of the Illinois river and the trails go through some nice rocky areas. There is a small water fall and lots of woods.
  • Such a beautiful area. It has taken decades and decades of abuse from vandalism and others who do not respect what they have. It is still a place that brings me so much calm. Some of my most life changing/saving moments happened here. Such a wonderous place to hike.
  • Just about as good as it gets within 75 mins of Chicago. Avoid peak weekends as the crowds will make you sick. Avoid the west side entrance. The east side canyons are better and less visited but can still get crowded on big weekends. Near by Matthiessen State Park is a real treasure as well.
  • Great views of rock canyons formations. Huge park and very long trails. Great place to hike and burn calories while being amazed by views. Bring some water bottles and good hiking shoes in case your planning to hike the whole trail.