State Parks

Courtesy of the Illinois Office of Tourism
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Discover the natural wonders of Illinois

Illinois is home to magnificent state parks and three of them are in our very own backyard. With miles of trails, there is always an adventure waiting to happen. Explore Starved Rock’s seasonal waterfalls, take a hike at Matthiessen or say hi to the Pebbles, the bison, that lives at Buffalo Rock.

Starved Rock
State Park

Photo by Jacki Musser

Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River bluff in La Salle County is one of Illinois’​ most beautiful destinations.  The park’s 18 canyons feature vertical walls of moss-covered stone formed by glacial meltwater that slice dramatically through tree-covered sandstone bluffs. More than 13 miles of trails allow access to waterfalls, fed season runoff or natural springs, sandstone overhangs, and spectacular overlooks. Recreational opportunities abound, from hiking to camping to fishing, boating and hunting. Special events are scheduled throughout the year.

Matthiessen
State Park

Photo by Jacki Musser

Canyons, streams, prairie and forest combine to delight visitors at Matthiessen State Park. Located in central LaSalle County, approximately 4 miles south of Utica and 3 miles east of Oglesby, Matthiessen is a paradise for those interested in geology, as well as recreation. Visitors can expect to see beautiful rock formations in addition to unusual and abundant vegetation and wildlife. All of this, along with park and picnic facilities, make Matthiessen State Park a popular choice for an outing.

Buffalo Rock
State Park

IDNR

Buffalo Rock State Park is located on a bluff which once was an island in the Illinois River. Now standing majestically on the north bank, this promontory affords a magnificent, sweeping view of the Illinois River. Located approximately 3 miles west of Ottawa in LaSalle County, this 298-acre park has long been a favorite picnic area, as well as a nature lovers’ delight.

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