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“often forgoten about, but you better not skip this!”

Matthiessen State Park
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Utica
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 19, 2013

The waterfall here is amazing. Can be seen from a short down hill walk to the first brindge or a longer but still short hike down the the bottom!

2  Thank edgey_me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"lower dells"
in 50 reviews
"starved rock"
in 181 reviews
"stepping stones"
in 12 reviews
"cascade falls"
in 11 reviews
"trail map"
in 5 reviews
"overflow lot"
in 4 reviews
"walking stick"
in 4 reviews
"storm damage"
in 4 reviews
"great hike"
in 4 reviews
"bring water"
in 5 reviews
"fall colors"
in 6 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 17 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 8 reviews
"vermillion river"
in 7 reviews
"rock formations"
in 4 reviews
"canyon floor"
in 4 reviews
"the loop"
in 4 reviews
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308 - 312 of 391 reviews

Reviewed June 17, 2013

We visited Starved Rock and Matthiessen in early June. Went to Matthiessen, which is about 1 mile south of SR, on a Tuesday expecting fewer people than at SR. Actually, there were quite a few visitors on this day. It had rained recently, but there were no park rangers visible nor any updates available at the parking area about problems due to high water.

Partway down the loooong flight of stairs to the canyon ridge, I saw my first scarlet tanager! Good trails go along the canyon ridges, and wooden stairs take you down to the canyon floor. Going along some of the trails was quite an adventure. We were glad we wore sturdy shoes with good traction; lots of rock hopping in the wash along the canyon floor. Some canyon trails were under a couple feet of water. Saw a big snapping turtle sunning itself, and some deer tracks but I guess there were too many 2-footed mammals around for the other wildlife. We had a blast, but families with small children did not get far. Later in the summer, when it is drier, it may be easier for the wee folk.

This park is not as well maintained as SR. Neglect (perhaps due to State funding difficulties) is leading to some erosion, but it still deserves its reputation. It's a great place to hike and enjoy some lovely sandstone formations that are rare to see in The Prairie State.

3  Thank offduty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013 via mobile

We just visited the park the first weekend of June. While there was major flooding recently, most of the upper trails were free of mud. I highly recommend venturing down the many stairs in the canyons. They are absolutely breathtaking, (especially with the many waterfalls). Just be sure to wear some old shoes if there has been recent rain. There is a ton of mud, (sometime coming up halfway over tennis shoes). A quick walk in one of the streams cleaned the shoes right off, (and the kids LOVED walking through the mud). Beautiful park with surprising close access from I-80. Can't recommend enough!

1  Thank Jblake10129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We hiked in Matthiessen State Park while visiting Starved Rock State Park, which is a short drive from Matthiessen. You can chose to hike right through the creek, just don't be afraid to get a little wet. There are stepping stones, logs, wooden planks, and ledges, which can be a little challenging. However, the view of the canyons, creek and waterfalls is worth the hike.

Thank kelseytravels13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2013

This park is not well maintained. The grass is over a foot tall in the parking area's and picnic area's. The trails were NOT easy to follow at all. They are well-worn but not easy to understand. They branch several different ways, with no clear understanding of where you are going to end up. We ended up a 1/2 mile past our vehicle trying to get back to it. It was a little scary for awhile. I was very disappointed because it is a beautiful area. It is a shame it is not better marked and maintained!

2  Thank beaker38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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