Our goal is to offer events for guests of all ages. Check our calendar for over 500 things to do at Starved Rock. PLEASE NOTE: some trails are closed because of recent flooding. Update on park trails as of May 13:. Trails remain closed east of Wildcat Canyon to Ottawa Canyon. All areas of Starved Rock State Park are OPEN. Trails may be muddy and appropriate hiking attire should be worn. If you encounter a trail that is not passable, turn back. Matthiessen State Park is open with the following exceptions: Lower Dells Area Trails are closed. Mountain Bike and Horseback Trails are currently closed. We thank you for your patience and understanding. LIKE us on Facebook for all the current updates. Go to the LODGE home page and you can easily LIKE all of our Facebook pages.
Guided hikes are the best way to learn about the park and all it has to offer. With an insider’s point of view, you not only take in the beauty of the natural setting, but you learn about the park history, safe hiking practices and little bits of knowledge that you didn’t know about the geology and cultural history of Starved Rock.
Take a Hike & Lunch-Guided Hike
$17 per person
Offered Every Saturday and Sunday between April and November. We think this is the best guided hike we offer! The Take a Hike & Lunch group sets out at 11:00 am for a guided hike from the Lodge to LaSalle & Tonti Canyons. This is a 4.5 mile round-trip adventure and a great way to see the park from end-to-end. Plus, you’ll get to see the amazing views from Lover’s Leap and Eagle Cliff. Lunch is included along with a souvenir backpack.Hikers will stop for lunch once they reach LaSalle Canyon.
After lunch, the hike continues to Eagles Cliff and Lover’s Leap. The tour concludes at the Lodge about 2:00 pm. This hike is classified as strenuous. Please dress for the weather and wear waterproof shoes or hiking boots.
The regular hiking route for Take a Hike and a lunch has changed due to continued effects of the April 2013 flood. For more information call 815-220-7386,
Too book your Take a Hike and a Lunch for July-November, call 815-220-7386.
Half-day Hikes with the Starved Rock Walker’s Club (free)
Would you like someone to hike with you? Don’t know where to hike? The Walker’s Club meets on Thursdays at 9:00 am in the lobby of Starved Rock Lodge for pre-planned group hikes. These hikes take a few hours and usually end around noon. The best part is the hiking schedule changes each week and repeats itself each quarter so you get to see each part of the park in every season of the year, plus some hikes head to the Nature Preserve, Matthiessen or Buffalo Rock State Parks. Hike 12 times and earn a free lunch at the Lodge Main Dining Room! No pre-registration is required. Just meet in the lobby with appropriate clothing, shoes and a water bottle! Ask for a full schedule at the Front Desk or call the Lodge for more information at 800-868-7625.
Starved Rock Lodge MegaHike
($35 per person)
Spring: re-scheduled for June 1 & 2, 2013
Fall: September 28 & 29, 2013
Have you ever wanted to hike all the canyons in the park? Well, now you can do it in one day. There are two MegaHikes offered each year; one in the spring and one in the fall. Hikes leave the Lodge at 8:30 a.m. & 9:00 a.m. both days. Expected time for lunch is 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.. Finish times are approximately 4:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. The day begins as you will board a Starved Rock Trolley with a pair of guides and travel to the east end of the park where you will begin your trek. Included is trolley transportation, guides, boxed lunch (1/2 way) and a specially designed T-shirt. Reservations are a must. For more information and to make a reservation please call the Activities Department at (815) 220-7386. To book on-line, please go to our calendar and search the DATE of your choice.
The Amazing Race-Starved Rock Lodge-style!
Spend an exciting day solving devious clues each step of the way and getting to know the Starved Rock Lodge area a little more. Try to be the first to uncover the Legend of Starved Rock. Use your wits, energy and sense of adventure as you race against time and your fellow racers. Enjoy a post-race awards ceremony at the finish line. The Amazing Race is fantastic for families, but children under the age of 8 and guests with limited mobility may find this event too strenuous. Teams should consiste of 2 to 4 people and at least one person must have a valid driver’s license and their own transportation as there is driving involved. Check in for the race will be at 11:15 a.m in the Starved Rock Lodge Lobby. Race start time is 11:30 a.m. $50.00 per couple. For more information or to make a reservation call 815-220-7386.
To book tickets for The Amazing Race Starved Rock Lodge Style in July, August or September, please call 815-220-7386.
There’s nothing better than getting out of the office and into the woods for an invigorating hike. Let us guide your group so you don’t have to worry about hiking off the trails. We can add a Trolley ride to shorten the hike or tour the town. At the end of the day, we have WiFi in the woods, so everyone can leave their cell phones behind for a few hours and truly enjoy nature at its best. From the stunning views at Eagle Cliff to the deep canyon walls created over centuries, the unexpected beauty of Starved Rock will allow your group to clear their minds and enable them to return to your next meeting more focused and ready to work. We’re happy to customize the hike and quote the package and add-ons that work best for you. For more information on guided hikes, please call the Activities Department at (815) 220-7386.
Guided Winter Hikes
($12 per person). Available from November through March 31, 2013 (then our warm weather Take a Hike with lunch returns). Offered every Saturday & Sunday from December-March. Hike runs from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm Join us for a guided hike with the possibility of seeing frozen waterfalls & bald eagles in flight at we travel from the Lodge to LaSalle Canyon. Participants meet in the hotel lobby of the Lodge to pick up a snack and a souvenir “Starved Rock” backpack. After leaving LaSalle Canyon, the hike continues to Eagle Cliff and Lover’s Leap for the best view of majestic eagles, the scenic river valley and the Illinois Waterway Lock and Dam. The tour concludes at the Lodge about 2:00 pm. Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear proper footwear. In the event of ice and snow we advise Yaktrax for extra traction on your shoes or boots. Hike will be about 4.5 miles round trip and is considered strenuous. Remember to bring your binoculars and camera. Included are: homemade granola bar, bottled water, souvenir “Starved Rock” backpack and voucher for small hot chocolate or coffee in our Cafe upon your return. Advanced reservations are required as space is limited. For more information or to reserve tickets call us at (815) 220-7386.
Seasonal Hikes with the Starved Rock Foundation
Fall: Fall Colors Hikes October 19 & 20, 2013
Hike departs from the Visitor Center and goes to the top of Starved Rock, French Canyon and back to the Visitor Center. About one-hour round trip. This is one of three annual, guided hikes offered by the Starved Rock Foundation. THIS hike is free and open to the public. Hikes depart from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. For more information, please call the park office at (815) 667-4726.
Winter: Winter Wilderness Weekend Hikes January 2014 (dates to be announced). This is one of three annual, guided hikes offered by the Starved Rock Foundation. Hike from the Visitor Center to the top of Starved Rock and into French Canyon. See the snow-covered canyon walls and the amazing views from the top of Starved Rock.THIS hike is free and open to the public. Hikes depart from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. For more information, please call the park office at (815) 667-4726.
Spring: Wildflower Pilgrimage Hikes
Wilderness Wednesdays are environmental awareness workshops for guests of all ages that will take place in our outdoor education venue, Fox Ridge. These events will be held on Wednesdays at 3pm from June 5 to August 28, 2013. A Wide range of topics will be highlighted including birds, butterflies, plant & geology. Included in each workshop will be many interactive experiences and most likely, a make-and-take project for participants.
Admission: Voluntary donation
2013 Wilderness Wednesday Schedule:
5 – Zentangles – The Art of the Doodle
12 – The Art & Science of Falconry
19 – Wild Weather
26 – Rockin’ with Geology Joe
3 – Wild about Wildflowers
10 – Getting to Know Our Furry Friends
–Education Program & Petting Zoo
17 – What’s the “Buzz” About Bees?
24 – The Art & Science of Falconry
31 – Hoo’s That I Hear – All About Owls
7 - Fit, Flutter & Fly…All About Butterflies
14 – The Art & Science of Falconry
21 – Getting to Know Our Furry Friends
–Education Program & Petting Zoo
28- The Inside Story on Insects
All programs begin at 3pm.
For more information about Wilderness Wednesdays please contact the Activities Department at (815) 220-7386.
Music & Wines Under the Pines
Sunday Concerts at Fox Ridge will be at 3:00 p.m. on June 2, July 21, August 25, September 1 & 22. If the soft sound of the wind through the towering pines isn’t enough for you on a Sunday afternoon, head to Fox Ridge at Starved Rock Lodge for outdoor concerts and a chance to sample and purchase Starved Rock wines. Sunday concerts at Fox Ridge are great for all ages and audience members are encouraged to bring a snack along from our Café to enjoy during the performance or purchase a snack at the Fox’s Den, right at Fox Ridge.
An afternoon of music awaits!
Admission: Voluntary Donation
Kevin Kramer – Contemporary Acoustic w/ Vocals: June 2, July 21, August 25, September 1
Judy Dagraedt – Contemporary & Traditional, Interactive: September 22
Many different storytelling events are held under the serenity of the pines at Fox Ridge, our outdoor education & entertainment venue, across from the main doors of the Lodge. Campfire Stories are every Saturday night from July through October. Storytime starts at 7 pm. Come and sit around a campfire and share your own stories as well as listen to stories told by professionals. Don’t worry about the snacks, popcorn and supplies for s’mores will be sold at the Fox’s Den for a small fee.
Storytellers Weekend 2013 Starved Rock’s Storytellers Weekend is scheduled for June 7-9, 2013.Save the date for this fun weekend where amateur and professional storytellers are welcome to come out and share their engaging tales.
For information about Storytelling events please contact the Activities Department at (815) 220-7386.
Starved Rock is more than just a great State Park, the Lodge and Park offer a variety of special events to enhance a guest’s experience. These events range from Teddy Bear Tea’s for the children, to musical Tribute to the Stars shows for the older crowd. If you’re looking for educational activities we’ve got ‘em, if you’re looking for memorable events that touch your heart, we have that too. As much as Starved Rock makes for a great day trip, teaming up your overnight stay with one of these events makes for an experience that will last.
For information about our special events, please call the Activities Department at (815) 220-7386.