Explore Starved Rock - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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The waterfall here was beautiful and it was neat watching a yoga class finish a little Sunday morning meditation

The waterfall here was amazing and it was neat seeing a yoga class wrapping up a little Sunday morning meditation

Very large and clean visitors center with decent bathrooms and cool T-shirt’s. The separate parking areas further down the trail have porta-potties. Very stunning views worth the hike, but very popular, so heavily trafficked. I’d recommend going earlier to avoid the crowds. The campground has mediocre reviews but I loved it. We showed up in the rain at night and had people offer to help us set up tent. No one partied late it was quiet by 10:00 pm. Campground has restrooms and showers, food shop, pit toilets and water pumps. Shaded, part shade and full sun areas. Each spot has its own pull in with power. The trails were well groomed and marked. A bit of trash...people need to learn to pick up after themselves...good mix of flat, ups and downs, bridges and stairs

28 days ago

I had a wonderful time.

Everything is well marked, the sights are incredible, and it’s just the right amount of challenge for beginners to give it a shot. Today was a Wednesday. Got to the park at 8:45 am and had the trail to myself for the first half. By the time I got within a half mile of the visitors center (11:30) the place was getting crowded. Get there early if you can!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. I suggest going down into the canyon while looping. Adds stairs but you can see some great cliffs and waterfalls!

The perfect escape from the city! It was 90° today but we could take refuge in the abundant shade and water so it worked well! I recommend coming out on a weekday to avoid the traffic. We will be back for sure!

I absolutely love hiking here, but the people are absolute slobs. I’ve been going here since I was a kid and I brought my kids there yesterday and they were quite upset about the MASSIVE amount of garbage everywhere. They need to implement some serious litter prevention. Ban all disposable water bottles being the first, I’ve never seen so much trash at a park like this. It’s depressing.

deep, wide canyon with steam crossings, made for a fun hike. plenty of places to wade, read, relax.

I was pleasantly surprised with Starved Rock. It is awesome that all of the trails connect and you can decide what paths to take and loop all over. The canyons were sweet and picturesque.
It was an absolute zoo when we finished at 11am. Totally nuts. Would recommend getting there as early as possible to avoid crowds. We got there at 8am.
Do go hike, it's the best the area has to offer.

Mattheisen State Park is less well-known than it’s nearby counterpart, Starved Rock, so there is usually less of a crowd. While the trails are not as well marked, the Lake Falls Dam Waterfall is breathtaking and can be seen from the bridge at the top and down below at the base. This is one of my favorite areas to hike. Definitely a must see if you are in the area.

When you get to the end of the canyon where there’s a pool of water there’s so much more to see.... I went to where the water was filling the pool and climbed up into it to find another canyon and another waterfall and a swimming hole beneath it. (Pictures posted) it was unbelievable.

good trail. well maintained. if you come from the visitors center there are a ton of stairs. slightly less if you park at the lodge.

Awesome trail! Going back soon to explore more of the park. Beautiful views, beautiful waterfalls and an excellent place to explore. Can't wait to go back!

Awesome trail! Going back soon to explore more of the park. Beautiful views, beautiful waterfalls and an excellent place to explore. Can't wait to go back!

That place is so beautiful I loved

Arrive early (by 10am?) on weekends so you can park at the main parking lot. We had to park in the overflow area and it was an extra mile hike across a sunny field to get to the Dells area.

The Dells were beautiful!

Awesome! The waterfall was gorgeous. 7 and 10 year old completed it w/ some but not too much effort. Bugs. Worth it ❤️

This park is amazing with caves you can walk through and waterfalls galore! We did seem to go on a trail that led to a equestrian trail and not the loop, but there are signs that say which way to stay on the hiking trail loop. Overall great experience, even though it absolutely down poured during our visit.

Beautiful place to lose yourself in nature!

Wouldn’t really consider this hiking, most trails are built into the landscape with wooden platforms and stairs. It’s a nice shady hike though that is not very challenging. There are some good spots for scenery and photos. Also lots of trash throughout, people need to learn to pick up after themselves.

Canyons, waterfalls, sand dune, streams and River. This trail has everything! Its not very challenging but very scenic and much of trails are covered with tall trees. Makes for nice cool trail running during warmer month. At first , a good chunk of trails seems over made with wood and concrete but I believe those are necessary for masses to safely enjoy canyons and water falls. After while, its not that obtrusive.
Overall great place to hike and enjoy.

Very nice, good trail for family. Paths are easy to follow. Can get very crowded during peak times, so go early if possible.

Worth doing; very scenic

Loved this trail. Super neat with lots of canyons and lookouts over the river. Definitely a good hike for local hikers who don't want to travel too far for a wonderful experience.

Nice trail, not so difficult also for small kids.

It wasn’t what I expected. The hike itself was okay. To many people and a lot of steps.

Walked this with the kiddos for Mother’s Day and my 4 & 5 year olds had no problem walking this trail! Lots to see visually and the smells of nature and flowers blooming, the trees to hits a nature lover right in the feels! Great place to spend an afternoon.

Easy peasey. Some stairs an alright overlook. Trees need to be trimmed in some parts of the lookout for a better view.

Great alternative to Starved Rock! While still getting a decent amount of hikers, Matthiessen is just as spectacular as nearby Starved Rock and much less crowded and noisy. Although there’s many waterfalls, my personal favorite is Lake Matthiessen’s Dam Waterfall. It has one large waterfall you can climb and then a lower waterfall with a nice pool where you can swim and picnic.

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