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.
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