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Starved Rock State Park

1,547 Reviews
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Starved Rock State Park

1,547 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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sangeetadas wrote a review Oct 14
Chicago, Illinois438 contributions17 helpful votes
+1
This was on my checklist for quite a few years. Finally visited but could hiked for 2-3 hours. Park was crowded even on a Sunday afternoon. Suggest to wear mask and carry sanitizers for safety. Overlook point and canyons are definitely worth a hike.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Michael M wrote a review Oct 13
Trenton, Ohio31 contributions11 helpful votes
We visited twice over a 5-day span in October 2020. Each time the park was VERY busy. Our first visit was on a Friday afternoon. We only had an hour to spend, but we visited the Visitor's Center, the Starved Rock trail, and sat along the Illinois River to enjoy the view. The views are great, and the Visitor Center offers a gift shop and snack shops. Overall, we like what we saw and promised to return again during this vacation. Our second visit was on a Sunday afternoon. The place was PACKED! We parked in the last row of the 2nd Overflow Parking Lot. By the time we hiked from the parking lot into the park and waited 20 minutes in line for a restroom, my son's anxiety was ramping up due to the large crowd, so we turned around and headed back. On our way out we saw that the park had been closed for reaching maximum capacity. Perhaps the park should consider closing the second overflow lot and reducing overall park capacity. Clearly, there were insufficient restrooms and insufficient space for the foot traffic on the trails (especially during COVID-19).
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Fran S wrote a review Oct 10
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Starved Rock is a great example of how far Illinois has fallen. Absolutely no maintenance, no signage, no MAPS at the visitor’s center. Everything is pathetic. We’ve lived in Illinois our entire lives and were so excited we finally had a chance to experience it for ourselves after so many people people (in years past) raving about how wonderful it was. Here’s our advice: don’t waste your time. Nothing is being maintained. Who runs a state park with a sign saying “we’re out of maps”? The trails give you the mileage length and they are inaccurate by far - how far you can actually go (through the mud, not a trail) is less than half of what they say. Do not waste your time here - worthless, Illinois bureaucracy at it’s worst. Fund the state parks for heavens sake!!!
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Hola4876 wrote a review Sep 2020
Lansing, Michigan882 contributions438 helpful votes
We arrived on a Sunday for 3 nights. I’ve seen Disney World less crowded; it was insane. That said, however, Monday & Tuesday were much less people and easier walking. Highly recommend seeing St. Louis & Illinois Canyons; both were gorgeous. The website states the waterfalls are seasonal and that appears to be very true; one can certainly see where there would be a waterfall in the Spring or after a heavy rain. Some of the waterfalls would not be accessible if the creeks are full of water and after a heavy rain, the paths could be slippery. When you first start out on the trail near the parking lot, the trail is paved & has some walkways; that quickly ends and the trails are dirt & have a lot of tree roots, you really need to watch where you are going. Many of the trails are not suitable for young children or anyone with issues walking/climbing stairs. Do not bring a stroller as you will not be able to use it. Some of the downsides: there are signs all over stating stay on the paths; yet there are idiots - and their young children - climbing up the rocks then struggling to get back down. Dogs, dogs, & more dogs; I like dogs but....please clean up after your pet and it is NOT acceptable to pick the droppings up in a bag then leave the bag lying there. Don’t stand in the middle of the trails; step to the side. Overall, the park is beautiful and well worth visiting; try during the week on a cloudy day.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Indy-ND wrote a review Sep 2020
South Bend, Indiana3,028 contributions389 helpful votes
My first choice was Matthiessen down the road, but it is still closed due to storm damage, so I went to Starved Rock instead. That really ins't a complaint. I just wanted a more intimate location since I was by myself. First off, the trails were pretty busy. Not crazy busy, but pretty busy. I was rarely by myself. Social distancing wasn't an issue, but I like to stop and take in the sights (and take pictures) and I often had to wait for people to get out of the way. It was a Wednesday in September, so on an off day in what should be the off season. IO'm guessing this place is never really dead. It has also been very dry, so there was almost no water running at the places that would usually have a small waterfall. That's just bad luck. The trails themselves were pretty darn good. Sure, you are looking at a dam and industrial construction as you look out over the river, but most of the trails are in what feels like wilderness. I did see a Bald Eagle flying over. It was actually by Eagle Cliff Overlook. I did not manage a picture, but it was the first time I saw a Bald Eagle in flight in nature. Pretty cool. I did eat lunch at the little restaurant in the Visitor Center and had a burger and fries. Not bad. A little pricey. It was made to order, so it was fresh. I got my usual doodads from the gift shop before heading out. Nice park. Popular as you would expect. I'd suggest going in the spring to see the falls if you are travelling to the place.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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