Hiker's Playbook

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Please note, effective January 1, 2023, promotional punch cards
are no longer valid for future punches or additional stays at no charge.

Interested in hitting our trails but not sure what to pack or where to start? We asked some of our more experienced hikers to share their top tips and go-to guidelines for a fun and safe day of hiking. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Bring water. While this seems like an obvious thing to pack, make sure you bring enough water for how long you plan to be out and how high the temperatures are. Especially when kids are involved.
    – A hydration pack is a good option as it holds more water than most water bottles and also serves as a receptacle to carry other items on your journey.
    – If you do prefer a water bottle, a reusable stainless steel water bottle will keep your water cold and refreshing for longer.
  • Understand your map. Understanding where you are and where you are going is key to enjoying your hike. Feel free to ask Starved Rock Lodge staff on any questions you might have regarding trails before you leave.
  • Use a combination of electronic navigation AND a physical map. While our electronic devices tend have many more advanced options to assist you than a simple physical map, you are not guaranteed adequate reception or service at all times. The physical map is an excellent back-up in case you need it.
  • Stay on marked trails. Not only is it against park rules to veer off the path or climb the canyons, but it is for your own safety to stick to the trails.
  • Bring a First-Aid kit. It is always a good idea to have one just in case.
  • Time it right. If you prefer hiking alone, make sure to start your hike as early as possible. If you’re scared to hike alone and want other people on the trail, start at a later or more popular time.
  • Check the weather. Make sure you won’t run into inclement weather at the height of your hike.
  • Tell someone. Let someone know when and where you plan to hike.
  • Do not litter. This causes destruction to the trails but can also have an effect on surrounding wildlife.
    -Bring a bag with you to collect your trash throughout your hike and later throw in one of our trash cans on your way out.
  • Do not vandalize the trails. Let’s keep it nice for everyone.
  • Pace Yourself. Hiking is not a race. Make sure to not over-do it too quickly so that you are able to fully enjoy your hiking experience.

A good way to get the most out of what Starved Rock Lodge hiking has to offer and enhance your adventure is to reserve a spot on one of our Guided Tours. Click here to view all of our Guided Activities. These include a variety of options from guided hikes, land and water cruises, trolley rides, and more! Reserve your spot today.

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