Starved Rock State Park

5.00 out of 5
View Topo Map


Exploring the majestic bluffs and canyons is the park's primary attraction, and there are 13 miles of well-marked trails to help you enjoy them. The trails are open all year, but hikers are urged to exercise extreme caution and to stay on official trails. To keep you oriented, trail maps are located at all trail access points, intersections and points of interest. There are colored posts along the trails, corresponding to colors on the maps, and letter symbols on the trail brochure to further assist you. Finally, yellow dots on posts indicate that you are moving away from the lodge or visitor center, and white dots mean you are returning.
Trail length: 13 miles
  • Add to 'Trail wishlist'
  • Add to 'My trails'
  • Posted by TrailAPI on January 5, 2013


    Create a free Tripleblaze account to get directions to this hiking trail.

    Questions   [ask a question]


    Q: You can fish the Illinois River at Starved Rock. -Guest

    A: Yes, fishing is allowed.

    Terry Warren answered on September 2, 2015. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No


    + View more questions and answers
    Note: You're not logged in. If you'd like to associate this post with your account, login now.
    Ask a question
    Notify me when anyone replies

    Reviews of Starved Rock State Park

    Reviewed by Terry Warren on September 2, 2015

    (2 out of 4 members found this review useful.) Reply to Review
    With over 13 miles of trails, complete with awe-inspiring vistas, Starved Rock State Park offers much for both the novice and the experienced trail walker and is a popular spot for people who wish to escape nearby Chicago. I advise hiking the less-visited Illinois, Ottawa & Kaskaskia Canyon trails at the eastern end of the park during the summer holiday weekends, when the parking lots near the Lodge & Visitors' Center are bursting at the seams, as there are several different trail access points (and parking lots) along Rte. 71 east of the main park entrance. A color-coded trail marking system and maps strategically located at trail junctures and points of interest alleviate the risk of becoming lost on the trails.

    Waterfalls in the park are seasonal, with spring and early summer offering the most spectacular flow. Waterfall lovers and hiking enthusiasts should check out nearby Matthiessen State Park as well. Other nearby hiking opportunities present themselves at Buffalo Rock and Illini State Parks.

    While the hiking trails themselves are not wheelchair accessible, there are many areas in and around both the Lodge and the Visitors' Center that will allow limited opportunity to commune with nature.

    Guided hikes are available through the activities department. Better yet, meet in the Lodge lobby any Thursday morning at 9 AM to accompany the Starved Rock Walkers' Club on its weekly hike. Different areas of the park, as well as other nearby parks and nature preserves, are targeted for the weekly two to two-and-a-half hour hike. Joining this club is the very best thing I have done since I retired and I can honestly state that we willingly encourage anyone to hike with us and many people who stay at the Lodge do just that. We hike year-round, although participation severely drops off in the winter, especially when accompanied with sub-zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures. The amazing icefall formations make it worthwhile, however! Winter hikes at Starved Rock necessitate the use of appropriate footwear, such as YakTrax (sold at the Lodge gift shop) or (my choice) Kahtoola MicroSpikes.

    No, I don't work in the PR dept. of Starved Rock State Park! I'm just someone who lives in the region, enjoys being on the trails, and has led a couple of guided hikes there.
    Was this helpful? Yes | No

    Reviewed by James Tracy on June 20, 2014

    (3 out of 5 members found this review useful.) Reply to Review
    This is one of the best hikes in the state of IL. It's up against the Illinois river, and runs along different rock formations and waterfalls. It's reasonably close to the city, and somewhat popular on weekends. It doesn't have a ton of repeat appeal, and the total distance is only 12 miles. However, it's a must see. I recommend also checking out the nearby mathissen state park area.
    Was this helpful? Yes | No

    Hiking Trail Recommendations

    Matthiessen State Park (100%)
    Estes Cone (50%)
    Barr Trail (Pikes Peak) (50%)
    Knoch Knolls (50%)
    Dupage River Single Track Trail (50%)
    Starved Rock State Park 5.00 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 2 user reviews.

    Illinois Outdoor Lists

    Illinois Camping
    Illinois Trail Running
    Illinois Hiking Trails
    Illinois Skiing
    Illinois Mountain Bike Trails
    Illinois Caves