Illinois is an interesting state. Most people who don’t live here know of Chicago, maybe Springfield then the rest fades into oblivion. Well, I suppose some who do live here also think that way.
Over the weekend I got to visit a natural treasure of the state that I would recommend to residents and visitors alike: Starved Rock State Park.
Starved Rock is a little less than a 2 hour drive from Chicago…located in Oglesby, Illinois. On almost 3000 acres of land include miles of hiking trails, canyons and waterfalls…something for all ages.
The local towns to Starved Rock are the size that city-people like me call “charming.” On a shuttle tour, we learned the grain silos in town are considered the skyscrapers. Imagine my surprise.
I had the best, most relaxing experience during my visit to Starved Rock.
We hiked through a few canyons, saw some beautiful waterfalls flowing into hidden dips and valleys from the Illinois River and learned of the history of Starved Rock, named for a rather tragic 1760’s incident in Native American history.
This family trip was also my nephew Malik’s first big adventure. In fact, our group ranged in age from 2 months to 60+ and we all enjoyed every minute.
The park is free to enter and has free parking. They offer guided hikes, guided trolley tours or people can go explore on their own. They said on a busy holiday, they can get 400,000 visitors. They have a hotel and cabins on site for booking. They also have campgrounds for anyone interested in roughing it for a night or two under the stars. There are restaurants, live music at The Lodge and during our stay, we saw two weddings get hosted.
I’m telling you, this place has so much to offer.
Here are some more photos from our trip. Visit Starved Rock! You won’t be disappointed.
Above is a victory photo. My mom has been through several health things in the last few years including hip replacement surgery in February on Valentine’s Day. She was unsure if she could handle the hiking and so were we but she did it! This particular canyon and hike through Ottawa was a lot of climbing up and down steep steps, taking extra care in slippery and muddy areas, stepping on jagged rocks to cross water in our paths and she friggin (I wanted to use a stronger word here but I know mom will read this lol) rocked it ALL!!! I’m so proud, as we all were. This was a major accomplishment on the journey and such an awesome photo to take!
Until next time!