Canyons, streams, 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. All of this, along with park and picnic facilities, make Matthiessen State Park a popular choice for a special outing.

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.

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.

So much to see

Good hike. Great waterfalls. Tough hills

Good hike. Great waterfalls. Tough hills