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“Nothing Special”

Starved Rock State Park
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Utica
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Known for its magnificent rock formations of St. Peter sandstone, this scenic park offers many hiking and horseback riding trails plus fishing and boating along the banks of the Illinois River.
Elgin, Illinois
Level Contributor
318 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“Nothing Special”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We stayed at the lodge at Starved Rock and rented a cabin for quiet. These cabins were built long ago and have not been updated. The lighting... bring your own. The cabin walls are dark wood and, they do not splurge on bulbs. Very, very dim.

The sink area in the bath was so small I could not stand in front of it.

The cabin smelled of air freshener.. probably to mask the mold and mildew. Bugs were present.

We took the river and trolley tour but, the river portion was cancelled due to low water... not their problem. The trolley was fine but... take your car and save the money. It went to the locks and to the town of Utica. No interesting facts other than the tornado which wiped out a lot of buildings and killed 9 people. Grim is not my idea of a tour.

We had 2 meals in the lodge. Lunch...2 burgers. They were fine. Dinner... well, we settled on two salads. I had the chopped salad. The portion was sparse.. very sparse but they did charge me $13.00. The tables were dirty... not an all around pleasant experience. At least we got our order in before the 18 women at the table next to us.

The park itself is fine. Starved Rock used to be interesting but now (and I am not sure how long ago) there is a simple boardwalk in a circle around the edge of Starved Rock. You used to be able to walk on it... and it was flat and not overgrown like now. I suppose this was more tan 15 years ago.. when it was interesting. Now, you really do not experience the rock since (I guess) the State has to protect people from themselves.

The falls were all dry due to lack of water so the hikes through the woods were nice but, with the falls running would be amazing.

I suggest you go in Spring or after plenty of rain so a) the falls are running and b) one could go out onto the river.

Also, pass on staying overnight. The bed was terribly soft, the AC was WWII era along with the aforementioned notes above. It is an easy drive from civilization to the park.

Visited August 2013
Thank thomasrydz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,168 reviews from our community

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English first
Bellwood, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Lodge restaurant not worth it”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Went to lunch, onion blossom either burned or under cooked. Pizza burnt, hamburger cooked well done and asked for rate, fries burnt. Waitress said she knew nothing about menu as she just had been there a few weeks. I suggest all wait staff know the menu and know what is homemade and what comes from a can. Very disappointing. Won't go back and only went there because of positive reviews.

Visited August 2013
Thank Janet F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morton, Illinois
Level Contributor
92 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Starved Rock Park - a good hiking experience”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

We decided to take a short driving trip today. Weather was absolutely perfect for a day at Starved Rock State Park to do some hiking. The trails are very well marked and taken care of. You can move along at your own pace. It was great to escape to this piece of history in the Midwest.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crown Point, IN
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great place in the midwest to get a hiking fix”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Starved Rock was just what we needed. We love the Smoky Mountains, but did not want to take a long trip. We wanted to go hiking and this was perfect. It had great views. There are wooded stairs in a lot of the paths. The waterfalls were beautiful. It had rained recently, so they were falling. It wasn't too crowded on the Thursday and Friday we were there. We would definitely go back!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank nmw0826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Excellent state park all for free”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

This is a beautiful park. I loved the lodge with all of it's services. The trails were well maintained and marked, beautiful views. This place is a gem, did I mention all for no charge?

Visited July 2013
Thank indianaflats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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