Camping & Picnics

The campground inside this popular state park dates back to the early 1900s. It has 133 Class-A premium sites, complete with electricity. The bath house has showers and flush toilets (and also serves as an emergency storm shelter). Aside from the scenic beauty and flourishing wildlife, people enjoy the way the park is laid out with open grassy areas that are conducive to pitching a tent.

Most camping slots are outfitted with standard 20-amp plugins, plus a 30-amp camper hookup. A limited number have 50-amp hookups for big travel trailers.

Weekend reservations for the Starved Rock campground fill up fast, so plan well in advance. Make online reservations at:  “If you want to camp Sunday through Thursday night, you can pretty much walk up any time,” Kerry Novak, Park Superintendent.

The park is located on shore of the Illinois River and provides an ideal setting for fishing, boating and hiking inside the park’s 18 canyons. The campground is located a short distance southeast of IL Route 71 & 178.

Visitors also enjoy some of the creature comforts found at the Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center, which is located inside the park. The 75-year-old log cabin-style Lodge has 69 cozy rooms and 21 cabin rooms, all of which come with modern conveniences. The Lodge hosts regular tours through the park and welcomes diners to its multiple restaurants. For more information on the Lodge, visit

The nearby towns of Ottawa, Utica, Oglesby, LaSalle and Peru have many destination antique shops, restaurants and wineries.

“Our sister park, Matthiessen, is only a couple of miles away from us, and also has really spectacular sites, with picnicking and horse trails,” says Novak. “The whole area here has a lot of beautiful scenery.”

The GPS address of the campground is: 2570 East 950th Road, Ottawa, IL 61350. Click here to see a brochure on the campground.

Please remember to always leave no trace and take only memories. 

Click here to make campground reservations