Share:

Starved Rock State Park

Western Central Till + Lowlands, Illinois

Start Exploring
Starved Rock State Park

Share:

Advertisement
  • Starved Rock State Park entrance.- Starved Rock State Park
  • The park has a large parking lot.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • The visitor center features displays about the area and plenty of food.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • A visitor center display recreates explorer Father Jacques Marquette's visit  to a village of the Kaskaskias, an Illinois tribe.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • Native American artifacts are displayed in the visitor center.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • Native American pottery is also showcased in the visitor center.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • A display about explorers is featured in the visitor center.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • A large model depicts Fort St. Louis, which was built on top of Starved Rock.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • This short-nosed gar lives in the visitor center aquarium.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • Large park maps are placed strategically throughout the park.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • A staircase leads from a trail to the river walkway.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • A cement pathway leads to the river walkway.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • The river walkway has benches and shade trees.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • The view of the Illinois Audubon Society's Plum Island Sanctuary.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • A fisherman casts a line into the Illinois River.

- Starved Rock State Park
  • The fishermen have a successful catch.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • Numerous trails lead to canyons and scenic overlooks.
- Starved Rock State Park
  • Enjoy a picnic alongside the river.
- Starved Rock State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Large wooded park. Multiple trails. Scenic waterfalls and canyons.
Cons: 
Waterfalls can be dry.
Advertisement
Region:
Western Central Till + Lowlands, IL
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Sponsored Contributor

The obvious question is, why is it called Starved Rock? The answer is found only in legend. The park’s name originated from a Native American legend about murder and revenge. When the great Ottawa chief Pontiac was murdered in 1769, his death was avenged by battles between area tribes. During one battle, a group of Illiniwek sought refuge on top of a 125-foot sandstone butte. Opposing tribes surrounded the bluff. The legend says the proud Illini warriors preferred to starve rather than surrender.

Today, when you visit Starved Rock in La Salle County, Illinois, less than 100 miles from downtown Chicago, you’ll find a surprisingly beautiful woodland oasis. The park features 13 miles of trails that lead to 18 canyons and to the summit of the park’s namesake, Starved Rock. Visit during snow-melt or after rainfall and you’ll see picturesque waterfalls in the canyons. On a dry day you can hike in some of the waterless river beds for a completely different experience.

For overnight adventures, the park has a wooded campground that accommodates both tents and trailers. The park also has a lodge and cabins that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Be sure to stop in the park’s visitor center and see the museum-like displays. Venture into the Trailheads Snacks section for a tasty treat of sandwiches, pizza or artisan ice cream created in unique and delicious flavors such as Loaded Coffee, Dreamsicle or Cookie Explosion. Enjoy your food indoors or take it outside and have a picnic alongside the river. Nowadays, there’s plenty to eat here at Starved Rock.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
1 Members
Who's Done It
1 Members
Submission by
Sponsored Contributor
30 Adventures Explored
30 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info