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Picnicking at Starved Rock

Developed picnic areas are available to the day visitor, with tables, drinking water and restroom facilities. Eight shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Alcohol is prohibited January 1 through May 31 in the picnic area. Alcohol is always prohibited on the trails.

There are 6 shelters located in the designated picnic area of Starved Rock State Park.  Shelters can be found between the lower parking lot heading west to the boat ramp area. Shelters at Starved Rock do not have electricity or water. Grills and picnic tables are located at most shelters Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Shelters are non-reservable and are only available on a first come-first served basis. Shelter sizes and locations are listed below.

  • R-15: Large Civilian Conservation Corps (wooden) shelter by the Visitor Center and sea wall along the Illinois River. 32 feet by 60 feet

  • R-17, 19, & 23: 3 shelters located in the picnic area between the lower parking lot and boat ramp.  20 feet by 28 feet

  • Large shelter by boat ramp area: 30 feet by 50 feet

  • R-35:  Small shelter by boat ramp area. 15 feet by 25 feet


(photography, filming, weddings, family reunions, groups larger than 25 people)

Groups of 25 or more must complete an Activity Permit to be submitted for approval at least two weeks prior to the date of the group's visit.  Please download and print the following permit and submit to DNR.StarvedRock@illinois.gov.  Please note groups may not reserve any portion of the park, trails, shelters, or picnic areas.  Thank you, enjoy your visit!

Activity Group Permit