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, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Martin Luther King , and Presidents Day). The Park Office inside the Visitor Center is open for business Monday through Fridays only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Martin Luther King, and Presidents Day).
Trail maps are available inside the center, in brochure racks outside, and large scale maps at every trail intersection. Park staff will be on hand to explain the trail system and give trail advice from 9-4 daily.
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: Orientation, In the Shadow of the Rock (history), Civilian Conservation Corps in Illinois, On the Wings of the Wind (bald eagle), and Smokey the Bear, A Day in the Forest.
Free guided hikes to Starved Rock and Wildcat Canyon are available every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. from the third Saturday in June through the second Saturday in November. Hikes leave the Visitor Center promptly at 9:30 a.m. and will return by 11:30 a.m.
Schools and Scout groups may arrange reservations for a 2 hour guided hike on the parks history and geology to Starved Rock, French Canyon, Wildcat Canyon and Lovers Leap (Friday’s only September-April) by contacting the center at 815-667-5356, or emailing the Natural Resource Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scout Badge in a Backpack program as well as the Junior Ranger Program are available at the Front Desk of the Visitor Center upon request.
Binoculars, dog bowls, and dog leashes available for rent (FREE) with drivers license at the Front Desk of the Visitor Center from 9-3:30 daily.