State Parks

Courtesy of the Illinois Office of Tourism
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Starved Rock State Park and Starved Rock Lodge are open. Although the Lodge is privately managed, guests and employees of the Lodge must wear face masks in all (indoor) public areas, maintain social distancing of 6-feet and comply with all state regulations. Enjoy limited indoor dining, outdoor dining on the Veranda or place a carry-out order. The Starved Rock Cafe and Trailheads Concessions are also open daily for food, drinks, ice cream and more.

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 Pebbles, Cocoa and baby Hope, the bison, that live at Buffalo Rock State Park. Visit the sunflower field at Matthiessen State Park in mid to late July.

Starved Rock
State Park

Photo by Jacki Musser

Starved Rock State Park is located along the banks of the Illinois River in La Salle County. It’s 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 by seasonal 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.

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, botany and bird watching 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


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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