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Matthiessen State Park

IMPORTANT: Matthiessen State Park will re-open on May 29th. 

-The Lower Dells will be closed due to flooding and trail conditions. 
-Parking can be found at the Vermillion River Access area on Route 178 or the Dells area along Route 178.  The Lake Shelter access off of Route 71 will be closed. 

 As state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas and historic sites prepare for a limited reopening on May 29, visitors to Starved Rock State Park and Matthiessen State Park should be aware of parking restrictions, trail access closures, and temporary closures of the sites when parking lots reach capacity.

When Starved Rock/Matthiessen parking lots reach capacity, the parks will be closed temporarily for safety reasons until parking becomes available. Motorists are reminded not to park along park roads or public highways as that may prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Vehicles parked illegally will be towed at the owner’s expense.

In recent years, temporary parking closures have occurred frequently during busy weekends at both parks. The heaviest traffic congestion and likely times for park closures occur on weekend days between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

In addition, due to recent wet weather and social distancing guidelines, some trails and  will remain closed to visitors until further notice. As at all IDNR sites, the Visitor Center, shelters, and playgrounds remain closed.

Visitors can monitor the Starved Rock/Matthiessen State Parks and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Facebook pages and IDNR Twitter feeds for updates on traffic delays and temporary parking closures at Starved Rock and Matthiessen.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police will strictly enforce all regular safety rules at Starved Rock:

• No possession of alcohol on trails year-round;
• No alcohol allowed anywhere in the park Jan. 1-May 31;
• No marijuana use anywhere in the park;
• No hiking off trails;
• No climbing rock walls and cliffs;
• No swimming;
• No defacing sandstone walls with paint or etchings;
• No littering;
• No being on trails after dark.

All hikers at both parks should stay on designated trails. St. Peter sandstone can crumble and be slippery when wet.

Please visit the IDNR homepage on this website for further information about COVID 19 and safety guidelines to practice while recreating at the park during this time.

Horseback Riders:  The Switchback trail between the Dells and VRA areas is indefinitely closed due to wash out and hazardous trail conditions.  


Canyons, streams, prairie and forest combine to delight visitors at Matthiessen State Park. Located in central LaSalle County, approximately 4 miles south of Utica and 3 miles east of Oglesby, Matthiessen is a paradise for those interested in geology, as well as recreation. Visitors can expect to see beautiful rock formations in addition to unusual and abundant vegetation and wildlife. All of this, along with park and picnic facilities, make Matthiessen State Park a popular choice for an outing.

Matthiessen Trail Map 2.pdfMatthiessen Trail Map 2.pdf


Park Information:

Northwestern Illinois

Box 509
Utica IL 61373




N: 41.286
W: -89.025

Other Parks in Illinois:

Map of Illinois DNR Regions State Parks in Northwestern IllinoisState Parks in Northeastern IllinoisState Parks in East Central IllinoisState Parks in West Central IllinoisState Parks in Southern Illinois