Deep canyons, streams, beautiful waterfalls, prairie and forest combine to delight visitors at Matthiessen State Park. Located in central LaSalle County, approximately four miles south of Utica and three miles east of Oglesby, Matthiessen is a paradise for those interested in geology as well as recreation. Visitors can expect to see beautiful rock formations in addition to unusual and abundant vegetation and wildlife on the canyon floor. All of this, along with well maintained hiking trails and park and picnic facilities, make Matthiessen State Park a popular choice for a special outing.

Down in the canyon was amazing

A lot of fun, especially good for dogs to hike along with owners. Fall colors beginning to show.

3 months ago

I had a wonderful time.

hiking
3 months 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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

rock climbing
7 months ago

This walk/hike was really nice. Once you get down to the bottom of the stairs, instead of going to the right as the trail presumes, go immediately to your left, not around the curve, but through the water. Follow that shortly and you will find two waterfalls that you can climb and a tunnel you can walk through. This part of the hike was the best for us.

This is a nice hike with an initial side trip to a small waterfall. The waterfall is close to to the entrance, so it was crowded. The hike is much nicer when you make it to the river.

hiking
8 months ago

two thumbs up

It was an amazing last min. trip idea for spring break. Very muddy today but totally worth it and my 10yr old son and mom had a blast.

hiking
9 months ago

Fun hike, can be challenging to stay dry in the dells if your worried about staying dry.... I try to avoid it on the weekends as it can get packed full of people in the summer. Winter time is nice just don't forget your snow/ice cleats. One of the few good hiking spots within 60 miles of the metro area.

hiking
11 months ago

Lovely in December with frozen waterfalls!

hiking
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

love it!

hiking
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

hiking
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nice trail. Not as trashy as expected from reading other reviews.

hiking
Monday, October 09, 2017

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

hiking
Monday, October 09, 2017

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

hiking
Monday, October 09, 2017

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

hiking
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Best of Illinois landscape. Worst of Illinois people.

We hiked this small trail network for about 5 hours, there are so many nooks you can find that are simply awesome. I haven't found anywhere in Illinois that compares to the natural beauty. I strongly recommend spending time in some of the less frequently traveled areas, you can actually enjoy these and they are every bit as beautiful as the main drag.

The negative, and what held this back from a 5* review... the disrespectful trashy people. I have hiked all over this country, and never once seen a park so littered with trash, cigarette butts, and broken (!) glass. Shards of broken glass everywhere along the heavily traveled areas. My daughter and I counted over 30+ plastic bottles thrown by the wayside before we simply gave up. We saw 8+ dirty diapers people just threw on the trail presumably after changing their child. Crushed beer cans everywhere. Discarded random shirts, socks, shoes, flip flops, misc clothing. The place was disgusting in areas. People were walking around playing music, smoking, swearing, acting like fools. I have a 5 and 10 year old and wouldn't bring them back down the main canyon that was home to most of the foot traffic and trash (people). Very very sad. This could have been amazing, but apparently Illinois residents do not care much about their natural parks.

Lastly, wear shoes with decent soles, not flip flops, and be careful of thin water shoes. You will step on broken glass if you go down the trafficked canyon. If you don't have decent shoes the shards could go through your sole into your foot.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Very easy to get lost. Signs aren't very well posted. And lots stinging nettle everywhere!! If going to do make sure you wear long pants and long sleeves!!! I didn't and I was in pain! I think if I had known in advance and covered with clothes all over I would have liked it more.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

So much to see

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Good hike. Great waterfalls. Tough hills

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Good hike. Great waterfalls. Tough hills

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Good hike. Great waterfalls. Tough hills

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Good hike. Great waterfalls. Tough hills

Beautiful canyons and waterfalls. Worth the stairs!

Difficult in spots with so many steps! But it's pretty awesome!

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