Starved Rock State park is located in Oglesby, Illinois. It’s a few hours drive from my home in Northwest Indiana, and a perfect place to get away for a weekend and enjoy nature. With 13 miles of trails its fabulous for hiking and trail running, and the views will take your breath away.
We booked a campsite for the weekend. The campground is conveniently located a short distance outside of the park entrance. It was just a few minutes drive. The campground was nothing fancy, just electric hook up, but had all the necessities. We have a camper, so we bring most things that we need with us. There is a family campground area, and a more primitive camping area. The sites are more heavily wooded here, and more private. We chose to camp in the primitive section and did enjoy the privacy.
There is also a lodge inside the State park that is very accessible to the trails and enjoys beautiful views. In the summer you can dine on the veranda and enjoy a band if they have one. We were lucky enough to catch a Jimmy Buffett cover band one evening, and had a nice time sitting out under the stars, enjoying amazing views overlooking the river, sipping drinks, and listening to music. I might try staying at the lodge for my next visit, it seemed very convenient to making the most of your stay.
Surrounded by farmland its hard to believe this place exists. I had read about it, and knew that I was in for a treat but it was still a surprise when the corn fields gave way to such a wonder of nature. The sandstone bluffs tower over you as you pass. You find yourself truly in awe of nature as you round a bend in the trail and find yourself in a sandstone canyon, the only sound the waterfall trickling over head. Scenic overlooks abound as well. It is an awe inspiring, timeless place.
I enjoyed hiking the trails with my family, and of course with my Aussie Skye. He couldn’t resist taking a dip in a few of the waterfall pools. The trails were well marked, easy to follow, and well maintained. We visited in the summer. Some of the waterfalls were only trickles but still beautiful. I think it would be amazing to see them in the spring when they are really flowing. A downside of a summer visit, there were a lot of people on the trails. We still had a great time. It’s just part of summer travel.
The hike to wildcat canyon was amazing. Early in the hike you have views above the canyon and waterfall. As you continue, the trail winds down into the depths of the canyon. The air is cooler in the canyon, and the light softer. The sound of the waterfall is a lovely melody that you hear before you arrive. It’s a very peaceful, beautiful place.
A few of the trails we visited were outside of the state park gates, and not nearly as crowded. On our hike to Kaskaskia Canyon we passed only a few people. We thought this hike had some of the most stunning views. It was a privilege to explore this ancient place.
I feel that I only experienced a fraction of what Starved Rock State Park has to offer. I can’t wait to return and explore more of the natural beauty that is found here. Although I enjoyed some lovely early morning running near the campground, I would love to try some trail running in the park!
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever been to Starved Rock State Park? If so tell me what you liked best. If you haven’t I highly recommend a visit, you won’t be disappointed! You can find more information here: http://starvedrockstatepark.org
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Keep Roaming! – Tina