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4.5
79 votes

Starved Rock State Park

2678 East 873rd Road, Oglesby, Illinois 61373 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Sun 12a-12a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
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“Prominent historic state park”

Starved Rock is probably the single most prominent historic place connected with early Indian life in the Corridor. This striking pedestal of sandstone has a colorful history to match. Its name comes from a semi-legendary disaster that befell a group of Illinois Indians besieged on its top in the aftermath of Pontiacs Uprising around 1769.

Starved Rock State Park – VOTED THE #1 ATTRACTION IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS – is a world apart from anything else in Illinois! You will know it the minute you enter the park, as you wind your car through the towering trees.Amazing waterfalls are active in the spring and after heavy rains. We have 13 miles of trails to explore, plus, the Illinois River offers fishing (ice fishing, too), boating, extraordinary views and great places to relax.

In the pre-Columbian era, the area was home to Native Americans, particularly the Kaskaskia who lived in the Grand Village of the Illinois across the river. Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette were the first Europeans recorded as exploring the region, and by 1683, the French had established Fort St. Louis on a large sandstone butte overlooking the river. Later, according to a native legend, a group of Illinois Confederation (Illini) pursued by the Ottawa and Potawatomi fled to the butte in the late 18th century. The Ottawa and Potawatomi besieged the butte until all of the Illini had starved, and the butte became known as "Starved Rock". The butte area was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The park region has been the subject of several archeological studies concerning both native and European settlements, and various other archeological sites associated with the park were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

A catastrophic flood known as the Kankakee Torrent, which took place somewhere between 14,000 and 17,000 years ago, before humans occupied the area, helped create the park's signature geology and features, which are very unusual for the central plains. Starved Rock is especially known for its outcrops of St. Peter's Sandstone, which can be found all over the park, most easily seen in the canyons and Starved Rock itself.

*Supposedly featured in the movie Prancer when they release Prancer to fly away...*

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Reviewed by
chakorules

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
November 10, 2014

The place in the picture is St Louis Canyon. Parking was closed near the trail. You can park at the boat ramp and it's about a 1.5 mile hike. Water fall is dry in the fall.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Janine

  • 3 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
August 24, 2015
Rated 4.0

FYI Park is open from 7 am to 9 pm but the trails are only open from dawn until dusk. I hiked the trails with a friend the day after attending a wedding in the Lodge. Absolutely beautiful, interesting trails with a ton of elevation changes.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
rschwartz

  • 34 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
July 1, 2015

This place is awesome! Loved all the big waterfalls and the mini canyons. I felt like I was in another world when hiking to the falls. The hikes itself weren't very difficult or long. One of my favorite parks I've visited for sure!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
chrisfredda

  • 21 Reviews
  • 9 Helpful
October 24, 2014
Rated 5.0

Give yourself a few hours to really explore this park. Elevated walkways and boardwalks extend throughout the park, along the river and up onto the mountain. Lots of overlooks for pictures or just to take in the view and maybe even see some bald eagles.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
meggatron5000

  • 10 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
October 22, 2014
Rated 5.0

As a kid growing up near Chicago, I was pretty used to everything being flat. That made the walls of sandstone and gorgeous waterfalls extra exciting to me and my sister. We were lucky enough to go camping at Starved Rock a few times, and those are some of my favorite childhood memories. It's a very special place, and not even that far from the big city! I can't wait to revisit as an adult.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greek_nomad

  • Road Warrior
  • 402 Reviews
  • 195 Helpful
September 21, 2014
Rated 5.0

The geomorphology of Starved Rock State Park is incredible and all natural. (rocks sculpted from a catastrophic flood) This place is great for hiking but you must be prepared for a lot of ups and down. The ground is hilly so wear comfortable outfits and shoes.Also, you need to bring water and food supplies as there isn't any place to buy from.

Not far away from Chicago, approximately two hours, this place waits for adventurous people to visit.Grab your cameras and just enjoy the great views of the canyons!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Nellymtz

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
May 27, 2014

Beautiful scenery and full of history. Love it every time I can go.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
jamessantos

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
April 13, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful!

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Reviewed by
StarvedRockMan

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
April 5, 2017

Picturesque canyons and seasonal waterfalls, great hiking trails

One reviewer stated that the only waterfalls are in St. Louis & LaSalle Canyons, which is simply not true. While the waterfalls are seasonal, being best after spring rains, 14 of the 18 canyons are known to have waterfalls at times. After a heavy early April 2017 rainfall, I encountered 12 waterfalls on a hike into just 3 canyons - Kaskaskia, Ottawa & Illinois, on the extreme eastern end of the park. Normally, those canyons have just one waterfall apiece. On the busiest holiday weekends, that may be one of the best areas to hike, if one wishes to avoid the crowds.

Check out Matthiessen State Park, Starved Rock's sister park about 2 miles south, during your visit. It's a bit more pristine and its waterfalls may be even more amazing than those at Starved Rock.

Please, however, preserve the fragile sandstone bluffs by refraining from "leaving your mark" and stay on marked trails, for your own safety. Each year multiple rescues are necessary due to people who attempt to climb the soft sandstone walls. Enjoy this beautiful natural area, but do it safely and leave no trace. Pack out what you bring in.

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Reviewed by
PerryBu

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
February 3, 2017
Rated 5.0

Fantastic state park to visit year round. In the winter the falls are frozen, in spring very active, fall brings wonderful colors.

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Starved Rock State Park

2678 East 873rd Road
Oglesby, Illinois
61373 USA

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Hours

Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 12:00 am

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Private Parking
  • RV Parking

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