Voted the #1 Attraction in the State of Illinois
Starved Rock State Park is a world apart from anything else in Illinois! Amazing, seasonal waterfalls are active in the spring and after heavy rains. We have 13 miles of trails to explore and the Illinois River offers fishing, boating, extraordinary views and great places to relax.
Starved Rock State Park is open daily from 7am to sunset.
The Visitor Center open daily from 9am to 4pm.
The Visitor Center is closed on Federal and State holidays from November through February.
(Restrooms are open until 5pm)
The movie theater is open daily (9am to 4pm) with the last viewing at 3:30pm.
Videos are typically played on demand.
Learn about the history, geology and ecology of Starved Rock State Park.
Please stay on marked trails and follow park rules.
Click Here to see the TRAIL MAP
Click here to see the 2023 Event Calendar
National Trails Day (first Saturday of June)
Junior Ranger Day (last Saturday of July)
Falltober Fest (3rd Saturday in October)
Ghosts of Starved Rock’s Past (last Saturday in October)
Eagle Watch Weekend (January 27 & 28, 2024)
Night Hikes (March, June, and September)
The park derives its name from a Native American legend. In the 1760s, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe, was attending a tribal council meeting. At this council of the Illinois and the Pottawatomie, an Illinois-Peoria brave stabbed Chief Pontiac. Vengeance arose in Pontiac’s followers. A great battle started. The Illinois, fearing death, took refuge on the great rock. After many days, the remaining Illinois died of starvation giving this historic park its name – Starved Rock.
In 1835, Daniel Hitt purchased the land that is today occupied by Starved Rock State Park from the United States Government, as compensation for his tenure in the U.S. Army. He sold the land in 1890 to Ferdinand Walther and developed the land for vacationers. He built a hotel, dance pavilion and swimming area. In 1911, the State of Illinois purchased the site, making it the state’s first recreational park. In the 1930′s the Civilian Conservation Corps placed three camps at Starved Rock State Park and began building the Lodge and trail systems that you can now witness here at the Park.
In 1966, Starved Rock State Park was named a National Historic Landmark. Starved Rock State Park’s Lodge and Cabins were listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 1985 as part of the Illinois State Park Lodges and Cabins Thematic Resources Multiple Property Submission.
The Visitor Center is Open Daily from 9am to 4pm
Visitor Center Events