Spring is here. Each day new arrivals appear. American White Pelicans can be seen sunbathing on the shores of Leopold Island. Many other migratory birds can be spotted at Starved Rock State Park each spring because of its unique location on the Illinois River (also called the Mississippi Fly-way. This is a bird highway so bring your binoculars when you visit us. Virginia Bluebells have sprouted in Illinois Canyon. Expect to see the full array of purple hues in mid-May. Council Overhang glows with warmth as the sun rises over this stunning geological structure composed of St. Peter Sandstone. Ottawa Canyon’s waterfall is flowing right around the corner from this—waiting for hikers to discover its beauty. Day by day, wildflowers will pop throughout the park. From Skunk Cabbage to Dutchman’s Breeches, it’s worth the money to buy a field guide or do an online search for “Woodland Wildflowers of Illinois” to learn about the hundreds of blooms which appear hear annually. (http://www.dhnature.org/uploads/2/5/7/0/25708496/woodlandwildflowers___studyguide.pdf)
The pandemic shut down the world last year and forced us all inside. As the nation and our state re-opens, hope comes along with it. Capacity limits are still at 50% but we expect that to increase soon. Outdoor dining will be offered on our Veranda once warm weather arrives and our workforce is in place. (We’re hiring—please send any go-getters our way. Apply on-line at www:starvedrocklodge.com/careers). Live music will be back on the Veranda every Friday night starting on May 7. The stunning view from the east end of Starved Rock Lodge’s overlook is the best in Illinois. The staircase leading from this area to the Visitor Center was closed August 10 due to severe “Derecho” storm. We are anticipating repair will take place very soon and that main path will be accessible once again.
Guided hikes are offered each weekend and so are Trolley Tours which take you to see the resident bison at Buffalo Rock State Park. Throughout April and May, Watefall & Canyon Tours are our top-selling way to see the magnificence of this National Historic Landmark destination. Save the date of June 10 for “Dueling Pianos” an interactive matinee performance in the Great Hall (a lunch buffet is included).
We are helping brides and grooms-to-be plan their weddings as much as two years out. Creating flexible guest lists is the key to having a post-pandemic dream wedding. Our sales team is friendly and skilled and helping couples plan for a variety of scenarios. We have two outdoor wedding venues (each with a lovely back-up location in case of inclement weather). Our trolleys offer a great way to transport the entire wedding party to the waterfall of choice for amazing photos.
Head to our website for reservations and details on all of our programs, lodging details, menus and more: www.starvedrocklodge.com.