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Starved Rock State Park, Utica

4.5
#1 of 6 in Things to do in Utica
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. Plan trip to Utica with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.
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Starved Rock State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,281 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I have driven past this park at least a hundred times during my travels along IH 39. Every time I pass that brown state park sign I would think “I wonder if there is anything interesting there?”. Now ...  more »
  • This state park is located along the scenic Illinois River surround by trees,It just down the road from the village of Utica that has restarurants,shops and a historic museum.There are many trails to ...  more »
  • We took our grandsons here for 3 days and wished we could have stayed longer. Trails were marked very well. We explored and walked and saw beautiful waterfalls. Our grandsons had so much fun they want...  more »
Google
  • Super fun just make sure to bring lots and lots of cold water. Dont forget yours in the car like we did i was never so happy to get tap water from a bar tender, after we got back. There is fudge and ice cream as well as a nice restraint. Amazing views and plants. There is so much to see it was well worth the drive. On the way there, We also got to see the Oscar mire wiener car which i know is a once in a life time opportunity. So the trip was so much fun definitely worth it.
  • This state park is amazing! I grew up in Utah and am accustomed to being surrounded by mountains, rock formations, and a variety of recreational things to do. I began my search for semi-compatible locations in the Midwest to scratch my adventurous itch. This place did a great job at that. Free entry and parking. A large variety of hiking paths, options, and waterfalls to reward you for your effort. The hikes are low in difficulty but do have some narrow areas. We have been a few times and my children ranged from 6 to 13 during these visits. Some of the narrow areas were cause for extra attention and caution, but not enough to deter. Perfect place for mild hikes with the family.
  • It's a great place for hiking. The place has well marked trails, nice history and peaceful spots. It could get crowded during the weekends but it's not too bad. All the trails add up to around 13 miles. It's a good choice for a quick one day getaway as well!
  • If you love the outdoors you need to check this place out. Fantastic for day hiking, waterfalls, canyons, Native American history, bald eagles everywhere, great gift shops and museum at the visitor center. Get there early to beat the crowds and be prepared for a strenuous hike up and down trails and lots of stairs. Pro-tip, for the best canyons Park on the east end of the park miles from the visitor center. Much less crowded and the best canyons. Council Overhang is a must see! Bring lots of water and snacks, you’ll need them. Great year round.
  • I cannot speak highly enough of this park. The trails are beautiful year round. You have your pick of the river trails that take you asking the bottom and inside the canyons or the other trails that lead you around the top of the canyons looking down. The campgrounds are but a short drive away and have the basic amenities. I like that you have the option of open sites that make it easy to befriend your neighbors or more secluded sites in the woods for a bit more privacy. Whether hiking, camping, canoeing, picnicking, bird watching or just sitting in nature, there's bound to be something here for you to enjoy the park.
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