Starved Rock State Park, just 100 miles west of Chicago off I-80 in Utica, Illinois, offers 13-miles of well-marked trails for hikers to enjoy.
The park has a variety of waterfalls, canyons, and other rock features that makes it popular for hikers and tourist.
The trails are open year-round and their are several maps along the trails to help so you don’t get lost. Though if you do wish to have a personal copy of a map you can easily get one at the visitor center.
Signs to and around the park can be easily followed. The main parking lot to the visitor center and lodge is a short walking distance to view the river dam and to take the trail up the famous Starved Rock and other main trails.
There are also parking lots near the canyons and trails a few miles away from the visitor center, such as the Lasalle Canyon.
The level of difficulty for several the trails are moderate to hard. Visiting Starved Rock and Lover’s Leap are difficult due to the amount of steps. However, there are a trails that lead to canyons that are easy to moderate if you drive to the nearby parking lots. These include the Aurora Canyon, Wilcat Canyon, St. Louis Canyon, Ottawa Canyon, Kaskaskia Canyon, and Illinois Canyon.
The Ottawa and St. Louis Canyons are a must-see if you are willing to hike in the winter due to their icefalls.
Other locations with hiking trails in the surrounding area include Buffalo Rock, Matthiessen State Park, and the Illinois-Michigan Canal.
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