The Starved Rock area has been inhabited by humans since around 8,000 BC. More recently, the 1500's to the 1800's it was home to the Illiniwek indians. The explorers, Joliet and Marquette came through the are while exploring up the Illinois river from the Mississippi. The photo on this page was taken from the top of Starved Rock.
The French built a fort on top of Starved Rock in 1682 because of it's height and view above the Illinois River. The French abandoned the fort in the early 1700s.
The park is named after (according to legend) a group of Illiniwek died of starvation after being surrounded by Potawatomi indians.
Starved Rock has 13 miles of beautiful trails that follow bluffs or lead to spectacular overlooks and waterfalls. The easiest waterfalls to hike to are St. Louis and French Canyon. The most spectacular are at LaSalle and Wildcat canyons. The trail to Starved Rock begins just behind the visitors center. It is very short, but has quite a few steps to climb to get to the top. The trails are well marked and open year round. The trails close at dark and climbing, repelling and off-trail travel is not allowed.
Other activities at Starved Rock are fishing, boating, horseback riding and hunting. Besides hiking, fishing along the Illinois river appears to be the most popular activity.
The park has a very nice visitors center with a small museum, gift shop and snack bar. Be sure to get an ice cream cone, they are very good.
Starved Rock has a nice stone and log lodge and twenty two log cabins that you can stay in. The lodge was originally built in the 1930s. At the lodge there is an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool and saunas.
The campground at Starved Rock has 133 campsites with electricity, showers and flush toilets. There is a separate group camping area.
Starved Rock is located southwest of Chicago near the intersections of interstates 39 and 80 South-East of LaSalle-Peru.
Don't forget a custom printed topographic map of Starved Rock State Park for your trip.