Explore the most popular river trails in Starved Rock State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

Lots of beautiful foliage, flowers and plants blooming right now and the greenery is heavenly right now! We were lucky enough to experience a light shower with thunder rolling and the Canopy of trees was already thick enough to buffer the raindrops. I just wish the trail was a bit cleaner in spots, there’s lots of garbage that needs to be picked up near the river.

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

i went on a monday in the early afternoon and even got to participate in a park clean-up! recommend on off-peak times, as this is a popular day trip for city slickers like me!

It was very nice. I recommend going in the morning, after 12:00pm the trail gets too busy. Very pleasant trail

Let me start off by making it clear that the trail culture is very sub par. We encountered many groups of people blasting their music through super loud speakers. There was also a good amount of engravings on the rocks. Not to mention, there was trash all over the river walk. The combination of these things really hindered our experience. Despite all of this, the canyons/waterfalls looked quite nice from afar, and the hikes there were pleasant. The best canyons in our opinion were Kaskaskia and Ottawa. Get there early to avoid the crowds. 6/10

It was nice. We drove almost 2 hours to get here after wanting to go for a few months. The scenery was breathtaking, especially since Chicago is almost completely flat! The only problem that I encountered was that the trail was so built up. Most of it was either wood or concrete and it made the experience feel very superficial, especially walking past women in dresses wanting to take pictures. The waterfalls and canyons were really something incredible though, and we were even able to climb them (without harnesses; please don’t try if you aren’t familiar or comfortable with the rocks). Overall, it was a great place to go for a day and I’d love to visit again. We got a brochure with a map from the building after the parking lot and outlined exactly where we wanted to go, so I suggest you do that too. Have a great hike!

Good hike anywhere, incredible hike for Illinois... some nice views, gets your heart pumping with some stairs, great for birding, I’m not really into birding per say but I saw tons of small birds, a hawk, an owl and lots more on the river, la salle canyon is the best part

Its a very pretty touristy Trail I didnt see much of anyone and really ever do but look at the time I go . I aint much of a people person when im on a trail so I stay away from them and pick my times according if Im visiting a tourist/Disney Style trail. I always park in down town Ottawa and Backpacked to the 1st Canyon Trail (Horse Shoe Canyon and then pack from there all the way to the end (Visitor Center/Inn/Bar) Then I pack my way back to Ottawa. I do this just about every year . I love winter pack-ins and enjoy camping outside in the winter-freeze(Less people) so this is always a good winter start to my new year. I usually do it sometime in the month of Jan. I stay on the trail( which is frowned on) but I believe and live !!NO TRACE!! so no-one ever knows I was there and thats not saying much because although it is frowned on that I renegade camp this area has got alot of trash from your so-called-nature-lovers who throw away just about everything they carry in on the ground as they walk through this park !!!!!! It makes me so angry!!!!! You came with it so leave with it !! Its lighter now!!! so carry it out! If campgrounds-Trails-Wildernesses-Forests and Parks had trash everywhere people would complain "Dont go there its a Dump!" WELL MY FRIENDS YOU ARE THE REASON IT IS A DUMP. Outside of that rant I really enjoy my 2-half day Pack-in during the winter here and yes as I move along I pick up the trash left behind by others .Its not enough I carry 47lbs of winter backpacking gear on my back I carry a bag of your trash to throw away as well. SHOW RESPECT ,LEAVE NO TRACE!

hiking
3 months ago

Winter hiking. Eagles and frozen waterfalls.

hiking
5 months ago

Love it! I plan to come back in winter time.

Nice trail, but like others have said, terrible trail culture. I think my experience would have been much better had I gone a weekday rather than an overcrowded weekend. Regardless, nice park and enjoyable hike.

A good trail for family. Trails consist of boardwalk and well blazed sand paths good for minimizing lower body impact.

Popular trail, went late in evening to avoid crowds..Boardwalk and stairs make for easy hike. Great views of Illinois River from Starved Rock overlook and Lovers Leap

Pretty trail but terrible culture. Huge groups of frat boys blaring music throughout the woods. One guy wheeled out an industrial speaker and was blasting music so loud you would not imagine. Will not return to this circus of a trail.

Nice trails and area to spend the day. Trails are well maintained. Gets crowded. Some areas on trails not well marked, but no way to get lost.

Get there early to avoid the crowds!

I'm in love with this park

Beautiful hike from the visitor center to Illinois Canyon and back.

The LaSalle waterfall was very nice. Worth a visit.

Well maintained trail but very crowded.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice abs scenic trail. Enjoyed my time hiking with the family. AllTrails is right when they say it's heavily trafficked. A lot of people on the trails and parking lots were full. Still a great hike and worth going I'm sure I'll go back but I'd like to find some lightly trafficked routes for now

hiking
11 months ago

This was our first time at Starved Rock and we were able to do a couple trails during our visit, this being one of them. It was me, my wife, our 10 year old and our two boxers. We were there in mid-June (2017), on a weekday, so it wasn't crowded at all, however I heard it can be on the weekends. LaSalle canyon can be accessed from a longer hike, beginning at either of the Starved Rock Park ends, however it's most directly/easily accessed by parking at Parkman's Plain, which is right off of 71. There's a parking lot there with easy access to the river trail. The trail begins in a heavily wooded area by trekking down numerous flights of wooden steps, which ultimately lead you to the river trail. It's a wide, shaded trail that runs along side the river. After going alongside the river for a bit, there are clearly marked signs that indicate where to branch off to see LaSalle canyon. Once you reach the canyon, you'll be swept away by it's beauty. Gorgeous rock formations complete with a waterfall you can stand under or walk behind. The water also flows along the graded canyon floor, creating a natural waterslide. Upon exiting the canyon, you have the option of going a different route along the river trail to continue your exploring, or you can simply go back out the way you came.

Nice hike, but LOTS of people on Memorial Day Weekend. If you're looking to enjoy nature consider a day with fewer crowds.

Best hike.

Just amazing. It was a bit crowded today and the rain made the trails a little muddy but definitely worth it!

Loved it! A bit crowded bc it's so awesome in the fall, but it's worth it. The cliff sides were so cool!

It was so much fun some of the trails were flooded due to rain the past weeks but over all great time

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