Will reopen on Monday, November 2nd, 2020 with limited hours of M-F from 9-12.
Closed on holidays and weekends.
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
Starved Rock Saplings -NEW ONLINE FAMILY PROGRAM!
Guided Tours -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 outdoor hikes of the canyons and indoor museum tours of the visitor center's exhibit hall with the Park Interpreter/Natural Resource Coordinator, Lisa Sons.
Guide Hikes will start at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, through November 1st, 2020. Hikers must wear a mask for the registered hikes.
Visitor may also pre-register for guided tours of the visitor center's exhibit hall with the Park Interpreter. Tours will start at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 3 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Visitors registered for the tour must wear a mask.
Scan QR code below for link to eventbrite events, programs, tours, and guided hikes
at Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks.
2020 Special Events and Programs at Starved Rock State Park
All events require advanced registation at www.Eventbrite.com - Registration opens January 1st, 2020
School Program Opportunities 2020
Virtual Visit with a Naturalist_schools 2020.pdf
New seasonal online program that families can utilize at at home, in their neighborhood, or at a local state park such as Starved Rock State Park. Starved Rock Sapling packets will be added each season during the months of October, January, April, and July. Have fun and happy trails!
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
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.
Due to COVID 19 the Visitor Center remains closed to the public. Those wishing to complete the Junior Ranger badge can download the booklets below, complete at home or while hiking the trails at the park and mail in to the Park Office at:
Starved Rock State Park
C/O Lisa Sons
PO Box 509
Utica, IL 61370
Please include your completed booklet, and a stamped envelope complete with your return address. The Natural Resource Coordinator will mail back your signed Junior Ranger booklet and Junior 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.