How to Plan a Great Extended Weekend

April 27, 2022
Illinois Canyon at Starved Rock State Park
Hikers check out the Bluebells at Illinois Canyon

Are you struggling with the work week woes after a long winter? Starved Rock Lodge knows the remedy: treat yourself to an extended weekend getaway here with us! Just imagine, instead of spending your Sunday dreading another Monday at work, you’re starting your exciting stay at Starved Rock Lodge. Avoid the weekend crowds and carve time for yourself during the week to enjoy all that the only Lodge located in Starved Rock State Park has to offer!

Starved Rock Lodge, located in Oglesby, IL, at the “crossroads of the Midwest” is just a few minutes from the intersection of Interstate 80 and 39. Depending on your arrival time, Sunday Brunch is available in the Main Dining Room from 10:30am to 3:00pm. Reservations are highly recommended.

The Lodge was masterfully built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. The Great Hall is the hub of this architectural masterpiece which features the largest two-sided fireplace in the Midwest, a restaurant, a bar with outdoor dining, a Café, pool, 69 hotel rooms and 21 cabin rooms.

Over two million visitors per year come to see Starved Rock State Park (a National Historic Landmark) but only a few of them know about the hidden gem at the top of the hill. Starved Rock Lodge has comfy rooms and cabins in the woods. There’s a Café just off the Lobby that has delicious house-made fudge, ice cream as well as breakfast, lunch, snacks, Illinois-made wine and more.

The Lodge Gift Shop has a wide selection of gifts and souvenirs from books, jewelry and beach cover-ups to Starved Rock hats, t-shirts and coffee mugs. Trailheads Concessions is located in the Starved Rock Visitor Center. This is the perfect place to begin your exploration of Starved Rock. Docents and staff will help you find your way around the park. Park rules, events, activities, and downloadable maps are available on the lodge website.

The main reason visitors come to Starved Rock is to hike the 13 miles of scenic trails which meander through glacier-cut canyons. Seasonal waterfalls (depending on rainfall) can often be found at St. Louis, Wildcat and LaSalle Canyons. The trio of geological beauty is best seen at Council Overhang which is just a few steps away from Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyons. This remarkable state park is home to a wide variety of wildlife from white-tailed deer to wild turkeys, bald eagles, squirrels and many more animals. Mother Nature’s display of hundreds of wildflowers is a reason to buy a field guide before you arrive. Learning about the botanical names of Spring Beauties, Bluebells and Spiderwort can be a fun activity for nature enthusiasts of all ages. It takes about 40 minutes to hike the west trails from the Lodge past Aurora, Kickapoo and Sac Canyons on your way to St. Louis Canyon. For longer hikes, take the east trails to Wildcat Canyon (which features two scenic overlooks) or LaSalle Canyon. This is the often referred to as the most scenic canyon in the park (named after the French Explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle).

Waterfall & Canyon Tours run throughout April and May. This tour includes a ride on the Starved Rock Trolley and a hot lunch from our special menu. Historic Trolley Tours run Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 3-4:30 pm from March through December. Tickets are $15 for adults. Guided hikes are the best way to see the park and learn about its rich history. These outdoor adventures depart from the Lodge each Saturday and Sunday at 10am. This hike includes a drawstring backpack with lunch. Reservations are necessary, so please book online or call (815) 220-7386.

In the summer months, the Eagle 1 River Cruises are the most popular outdoor activity. After lunch in the Main Dining Room, guests take a ride on the Starved Rock Trolley through the park to the Lone Point Shelter landing. These leisurely boat rides travel along the Illinois River on the east side of the park where you’ll see Eagle Cliff and the Illinois Lock & Dam from the water.

Outdoor dining on the Veranda is highly recommended for lunch, when weather allows. The panoramic view from the bluff overlooking the Illinois River Valley is photo-worthy. Live music fills the air every Friday night from 8-11pm. Food service is available until 9pm (bar service runs until midnight). The adjacent, air-conditioned Back Door Lounge is a great place to cool off on a warm day or enjoy lunch, dinner, apps and hand-crafted cocktails while you catch up the latest in news and sports. Craft beers on tap are Starved Rock Signature Ale and locally-made Tangled Roots Brewery products among others.

Music lovers who would enjoy a walk down memory lane don’t want to miss the Tribute to the Stars Shows which are matinees offered on Mondays and Tuesdays in the Great Hall. Ticket price includes a hot lunch or dinner buffet. Talented vocalists perform hits made famous by Patsy Cline, Elvis, Tom Jones, Dean Martin and many country music favorites. Ticket prices start at $45 per person.

In addition to guaranteed, priority parking, Lodge guests can relax in the expansive indoor pool which includes a giant lap pool, shallow-depth children’s pool, two saunas and a hot tub.

And of course, a short work-week after an extended weekend getaway with us sweetens the deal even more! To learn more or make reservations for your extended weekend getaway, go to www.starvedrocklodge.com or call (815) 667-4211.

Keep In Touch

800-868-7625

#starvedrocklodge