Starved Rock State Park
Although you can see waterfalls in 14 of the 18 canyons, some of the most scenic waterfalls are found in St. Louis, French, Wildcat, Tonty, Ottawa and Kaskaskia canyons. The best times to see waterfalls are in the spring when the snow and ice melt or after a heavy rainfall. Come back in the winter to see an icefall – they are spectacular!
We highly recommend you to come back to Starved Rock during different seasons of the year. The entire park, including the canyons and trails, look completely different in the fall and winter than in the spring and summer.
Starved Rock Trail Map Overview
Not sure which trail to take? Click to view trail length, difficulty, photos, history & more:
Trail to Aurora Canyon
Trail to Illinois Canyon
Trail to Kaskaskia Canyon
Trail to LaSalle Canyon
Trail to Lover’s Leap Overlook
Trail to Ottawa Canyon
Trail to St. Louis Canyon
Trail to Starved Rock
Trail to Tonty Canyon
Trail to Wildcat Canyon
Matthiessen State Park
The park has five miles of well-marked, well-surfaced hiking trails for a relaxing walk or a vigorous hike. Large trail maps are located at all major trail intersections so visitors can choose a variety of routes. The upper area and bluff tops are easy hiking paths for the novice, but the trails into the interiors of the two dells may be difficult to negotiate, particularly during spring and early summer. Hikers must stay on marked trails, as steep cliffs and deep canyons can be dangerous. Hikers will marvel at the plant and animal life along the trails, and have an unparalleled view of geological wonders as they travel through the park. Alcohol is prohibited on all trails.
On the north side of the Dells Area entrance is a parking lot with a hitching post, which marks the access to nine miles of horseback riding trails. Horse rental is located on Route 71 a half mile west of Route 178. It is open weekends in April and November and Wednesday through Sunday from May through October. There are also six miles of cross-country ski trails with ski rental available weekends from December through March.
PLEASE NOTE! It is a state offense to remove any archaeological or Native American material from any Illinois state park.
Matthiessen State Park Trail Map
Buffalo Rock State Park
The River Bluff Trail offers a walk high above the Illinois River with two observation decks with spectacular views of the Illinois River. The Woodland Trail provides an opportunity for a closer view of the trees, plants and wildlife prospering in the park.
Natural Features – Titled “Effigy Tumuli” in tribute to the Native American burial grounds that inspired it, this unique “earth art” depicts five sculptures native to the Illinois River. The Effigy Tumuli was the vision of artist Michael Heizer who created the sculptures of a snake, turtle, catfish, frog and a water strider. To better appreciate the sculptures, it is best to look first from a distance and then walk around on top of them to better understand the effigies. This attraction is closed as of right now.
Buffalo Rock Trail Map
I & M Canal State Trail
Just across the road from Buffalo Rock State Park is the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail Buffalo Rock Access area. This multi-purpose trail has been developed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Currently 61 miles in length, this trail offers visitors scenic hiking, bicycling and snowmobiling opportunities. This area provides parking for approximately seven vehicles. Water and restroom facilities are not available at this site.
I & M Canal State Trail Map – Overview
I & M Canal State Trail Map – Eastern
I & M Canal State Trail Map – Western