A highly unique destination composed of 2,630 acres of land, Starved Rock State Park is a perennially popular destination for hikers, camping aficionados, winter weather sports enthusiasts, and those seeking a rare mixture of majestic landscape, active wildlife, and modern pageantry. Over two million yearly visitors flock to the place that's been transformed over a century-and-a-half from the setting of dramatic American history to a haven for conservation efforts, archaeological studies, heavily-detailed recreations of past eras, wilderness enthusiasts, and witnesses to nature at its most uncompromised.
The park boasts over 13 miles of hiking trails and 18 canyons, along with fishing, boating, and overnight camping in one of the park's 133 designated campsites. Wintertime allows for sledding, tobogganing, ice skating, and cross-country skiing in designated park areas. Majestic bald eagles can be seen diving into icy waters for fish, and binoculars for this task are loaned out to would-be birdwatchers by park staff.
Fees for regular campsites and youth-group sites require a non-refundable $5 reservation fee, and payment of all camping and utility fees upon making the reservation. The fee for a regular campsite is $25 per night on non-holidays, while the holiday campsite fee is $35.
Best time to visit
Starved Rock's geographic location exposes it to cold, snowy winters and mild, warm summers. Visitors looking to do outdoor activities would do well to visit in summertime. However, for those enjoying events inside Starved Rock Lodge, pleasant visits are evergreen.
Near by POI
The Starved Rock Lock and Dam, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Illinois River, were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. Buffalo Rock State Park & Effigy Tumuli is "next door" to Starved Rock State Park, and features a Native American-inspired quintet of animal sculptures overlooking campsites, hiking trails, and a pair of living bison..