Starved Rock State Park

Location: Ogelsby, Illinois

Webpage: Illinois State Park

General Description: Starved Rock State Park is located along the Illinois River at the historical location of the first Fort St. Louis established by La Salle in 1682 on a bluff overlooking the river.  Hosting over 2 million visitors a year, it is easily the most popular state park in Illinois.  It covers 2630 acres that includes 15 miles of hiking trails along the river and up the side canyons with spectacular waterfalls during the spring and after rains.  Facilities in the park were constructed by the CCC in the 1930s which include the lodge.  The campground is located between two of the canyons and is rustic in nature.  Campers have the choice of staying in grassy meadows or in the deep woods.  Nearly all of the sites have electrical hookups, but water is available only at limited locations throughout the campgrounds.

TrailMap

Impressions:

1) Starved Rock is one of the most primitive sites we have stayed in with our RV.  The wooded sites are all VERY tight and difficult to back in.  Trees and brush extended all the way to the camper pad, limiting the view and providing privacy.  While the sites would be considered large, the brush limits the site to a very small area.  Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.

Campgrounds

2) The campground is organized in two loops with a flush toilet/shower facility at the head of each loop.  There are port-a-potty facilities within the loop that were well maintained, but still not the most pleasant experience.

3) This is an excellent location to take advantage of the many hiking trails either along the river or up the side canyons to nice waterfalls.  We spent the better part of two days hiking some of the trails.

4) At the main parking lot for the park there is a nice Visitor Center that provides trail maps and a few exhibits about the history and fauna in the park.