Explore the most popular trails near Ottawa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Ottawa, Illinois Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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

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.

Some pretty spots but not much of a hike. Very exposed and crowded on the weekend.

backpacking
3 months ago

Definitely a must when visiting Starved Rock. Although the furthest trail from the Lodge and Visitor Center it provides an escape from the noisy and busy trails and lets you experience Starved Rock as it should be, while also being one of the best waterfalls and canyons in the Park. If you’re not up for the long hike from the Visitor Center, hop in your car and take Route 71 all the way down where there’s a parking lot that will lead you straight on to the trailhead!

Great flat trail.

hiking
5 months ago

My favorite canyon at starved rock. It can be difficult to stay dry crossing the the river 3 times if the water is up. Make sure you obey the sign at the end of the canyon on the same side as the falls and do not enter the area with views from above the the canyon and a peaceful spot on the river to relax.....

Rocks are beautiful! Go there for a sunset!

Fun trail to take kids on. You do have to cross the river 3 times so wear waterproof shoes or boots. There are fallen trees or stones to cross on but no bridges.

The trail is currently closed from the tornado damage that occurred earlier in the year, but the park is still open. I don't know when it will open, but look for Buffalo Rock State Park in the Region 2 - NE Illinois section.
https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/closures/pages/CurrentclosuresOfDNRSitesAndAreas.aspx

Edit: The trail is flat, easy to walk with your dog, and your walking on a wide path with tall grass on either side. The end is a drastic change and beautiful. I went when it was wet on a warm day in January. When it is more dry, it would be a better running trail than hike.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Boring and one trail closed. Buffalo were cool!

hiking
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Super easy trail, but one of the most serene ecosystems I've been to in Illinois. There are a few parts where you have to walk stone to stone across the stream, which, now that I think about it, could be difficult for some. The path has been slightly different each time I've walked it. Not many canyons in Illinois so this is a nice place to wander outside of the horizons of soy and corn.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Great easy hike - especially for families. Several crossings of a shallow creek so you may get wet feet. Great views of the dells.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Very nice Canyon! Beautiful with the ice especially

hiking
Sunday, June 05, 2016

A well maintained and clean park. The trails are not very challenging. There is apparently a firing range nearby as we heard consistent gunshots. Not really what we wanted to hear when hiking.

hiking
Sunday, April 10, 2016

Enjoyable and peaceful

hiking
Monday, March 21, 2016

Nice views of river and bluffs.

hiking
Monday, August 17, 2015

A small state park with a nice short trail along the IL River. The trail is well maintained with gravel and easily accessible.

hiking
Sunday, August 04, 2013

It's a nice small park, ideal for a family picnic. There's a deck with a nice view of the river, and a few easy trails.

hiking
Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's a nice park, not a ton of hiking. Some nice overlooks of the Illinois River. There are Effigy Mounds to look at along a flat hike. These were made in the 20th century. Also, there is a live buffalo to see. If you're a cyclist, you could ride up from the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Load More