Situated along the scenic Illinois River, the Starved Rock Visitor Center should be the first stop when visiting the park. The visitor center is currently closed during phase 4 of COVID 19 in the State of Illinois. Trail maps are available inside the center and in brochure racks outside the building. Park staff will be on hand to explain the trail system and give trail advice. Educational displays inside the center will help acquaint visitors with the park history, geology, flora, and fauna of Starved Rock State Park. Several informational park videos are highly recommended and available upon request in the visitor centers auditorium: In the Shadow of the Rock, Civilian Conservation Corps, Smokey and Friends, and On the Wings of the Wind.
Lisa Sons, Natural Resource Coordinator
Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks
Route 178 and 71
Utica, Il 61373
Guided Tours - Summer 2020
Visitors are more than welcome to hike on their own, but for those who would like a guided hike or tour, where they can discover the rich history, geology, flora, and fauna of the park can pre-register for summer hikes and tours at www.eventbrite.com
Guide Hikes will start at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, July 10th-August 30th. Hikers must wear a mask for the registered hikes.
Visitor may also pre-register for guided tours of the visitor center's exhibit hall and museum on eventbrite.com. Tours will start at 1 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, July 10th-August 30th. Visitors registered for the tour must wear a mask.
Scout Badge in a Backpack Program-Currently Unavailable due to COVID 19 Guidelines
The Starved Rock Visitor Center offers several Girl Scout and Cub Scout backpacks complete with items to help scouts earn the following badges (badges purchased through Boy Scout or Girl Scout Councils-not at the park): Wolf/Birds, Bear/Native American, Webelo/Forester, Brownie/Hiker, Junior/Animal Habitats, and Cadette/Trees. The program is a self guided toolkit the leader and scouts may complete on their own over the course of a day at the park.
Please call the park office Wednesday-Friday, 9-4 at 1-815-667-4726 or email DNR.StarvedRock@illinois.gov to reserve one of the backpacks.
Leaders interested in purchasing further patches for their scouts may visit the "Le Rocher" gift store located by the front desk at the visitor center where they can purchase 3" x 3" patches of Starved Rock. Scouts can feel great about their purchase since all proceeds at the gift store (only this gift store) stay in the park to provide for educational programs, events, signs, and more. The Starved Rock Foundation owns and operates the gift store, and the Badge in a Backpack program is sponsored by the Foundation through gift store proceeds and public donations.
Jr. Ranger Program-Badges are Currently Unavailable/Visitor Center Closed COVID 19 Guidelines
Hey, kids! Starved Rock now has a Jr. Ranger program! Jr. Ranger booklets are available to pick-up at the Starved Rock Visitor Center during regular operational hours or downloaded below and printed at home. Booklets are designed for kids ages 5 and up. Activities within these booklets can be completed using displays/exhibits inside the visitor center and by hiking trails within the park. Bring the completed booklet back before closing and if successfully completed kids will receive an official Starved Rock State Park Jr. Ranger badge.
Click here to review/print copies of the Jr. Ranger booklets:
Starved Rock State Park hosts many special event weekends throughout the year. During special event weekends, visitors can hike with guides to see icefalls, bald eagles, spring wildflowers, beautiful colors of autumn, can learn to kayak, and get up-close and personal with birds of prey. Most special events are free unless otherwise noted. Schedule of Events.
Starved Rock History Information Packet
For detailed information on the legend and history of Starved Rock, check out the Starved Rock History Booklet
. The packet includes information on Starved Rock itself, Illinois River Lock and Dam, the Civilian Conservation Corps, geology, flora, and fauna of the park, and French and Native American history of the park.