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Starved Rock State Park, Utica

Categories: State Parks, Hiking Trails, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 1,000+ 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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  • I love this park even more since I live close by it. Since the weather has changed and it is fall now, it is becoming prettier due to the different color of leaves. Make sure to wear your hiking boots...  read more »
  • Consider the canyons on the east side of the park, Illinois, Kaskaskia and Ottawa. They are much less crowded and there are almost no hills to climb. The Council Overhang is near the Ottawa canyon. Se...  read more »
  • We arrived on Columbus Day and the park was packed. It was difficult to find a parking spot. We enjoyed the Starved Rock trail which has a lot of steps, but great views of the river. There were lots o...  read 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!
  • 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.
  • Starved rock is lovely and beautiful. Great to go all year round and it's close to home. !! Be aware !! Raccoons are tenacious and will go into your food if left out. Properly secure it. If it rains get out of the canyons ASAP. La Salle canyon cannot be missed, it is the best part.
  • People who think this is a good state park are most likely from the city and or Illinois in general. To start with there are throngs of people some of who are extremely rude. If you don't hike at a fast pace you will get run over by the mass of people at this park. The hike here is like walking on a moving sidewalk at the airport. Go here IF you like whiny city people who think climbing 5 flights of stairs is comparable to climbing a mountain, if so then this place is for you. Trust me the stairs here are nothing like a mountain because I have done that (at 13,000 ft) with my 5 year old daughter who at no time complained. Want to see wild life good luck because you won't they will be chased away by all the people hiking with their radios and phones blasting out music I don't want my daughter hearing because of the explicatives in it. Also by their little yapping dogs are so annoying you just want to punt them into one of the canyons. Been to many parks throughout the USA and this is by far the worst.
  • Great place to hike. Loved the views. Lot's & Lot's of stairs. Wonderful places to explore. My 8 year old & I spent hours exploring & we could have spent even longer if it hadn't started getting late. Would love to go back someday.
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