Situated along the scenic Illinois River, the Starved Rock Visitor Center should be the first stop when visiting the park. The visitor center is open 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day). Trail maps are available inside the center and in brochure racks outside the building. Park staff will be on hand to explain the trail system and give trail advice. Educational displays inside the center will help acquaint visitors with the park history, geology, flora, and fauna of Starved Rock State Park. Three informational park videos are highly recommended and available upon request.
Lisa Sons, Natural Resource Coordinator
Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks
Route 178 and 71
Utica, Il 61373
Guided Tours (school, scout, and special interest groups)
Free guided hikes are available at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sundays only, from the third Saturday in June through the second Sunday in November. Hikes will leave from the Visitor Center. Interpreters will discuss the history, geology, flora, and fauna of the park while hiking to Starved Rock and French Canyon. Guided hikes for groups of 10 to 40 visitors may call the park office to speak withe the Natural Resource Coordinator about the possibility of scheduling a guided hike outside of the timeframes listed above. Park staff and volunteers are sometimes able to accomodate groups of more than 40 if given 1-2 months advanced notice. Please remember all groups of 25 persons or more must complete a Group Permit to be submitted to the park office no later than 2 weeks prior to the date of the visit. Group Permits can be downloaded from the Activities section.
Starved Rock State Park hosts many special event weekends throughout the year. During special event weekends, visitors can hike with guides to see icefalls, bald eagles, spring wildflowers, beautiful colors of autumn, can learn to kayak, and get up-close and personal with birds of prey. Most special events are free unless otherwise noted. Schedule of Events.
Starved Rock History Information Packet
For detailed information on the legend and history of Starved Rock, check out the Starved Rock History Booklet
. The packet includes information on Starved Rock itself, Illinois River Lock and Dam, the Civilian Conservation Corps, geology, flora, and fauna of the park, and French and Native American history of the park.