Experience the fun of outdoor adventure at Starved Rock State Park. Whether you enjoy hiking along the nature trails or viewing the many spectacular overlooks along the Illinois River, recreational opportunities abound. From picnicking to fishing to boating, from horseback riding to camping to enjoying winter sports, theres so much to do that youll come back again and again. The backdrop for your activities are 18 canyons formed by glacial meltwater and stream erosion. They slice dramatically through tree-covered, sandstone bluffs for four miles at Starved Rock State Park, which is located along the south side of the Illinois River, one mile south of Utica and midway between the cities of LaSalle-Peru and Ottawa. The park is best known for its fascinating rock formations, primarily St. Peter sandstone, laid down in a huge shallow inland sea more than 425 million years ago and later brought to the surface.
Best hiking in northern Illinois. Great views any time of year. Waterfalls are mostly wet weather and worth seeing. Well maintained and marked. French and St Louis Canyons are easy hikes with a big return. Starved Rock and Eagles nest offer spectacular views of the river and Eagles in the winter. Wildcat canyon offers a very tall waterfall and a lot of stairs! Lodge offers really really good food, their Gorgonzola Chicken nachos are my fave
Did the whole thing today, from Visitors Center to Illinois Canyon and everything in-between. So many great sights and one heck of an adventure. Was all really well kept trails until around Hennepin - is much less traveled until ottawa canyon... lots of spiderwebs to run into :). Then the path to Illinois Canyon was really overgrown and muddy. Other than that it was amazing and recommend it.