Park Programs & Activities

The staff of the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center have put together some great educational programs for all ages!  Bring the kids and learn all about the exciting history and geology of this park.

Starved Rock State Park / Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Special Events

Winter Wilderness Weekend
Eagle Watch Weekend
Wildflower Pilgrimage Weekend
National Trails Day Hike on June 2nd
Fall Colors Weekend
Haunted Hike

Junior Ranger Program

Click here for our Junior Ranger Program Packet (ages 5-7)
Click here for our Junior Ranger Program Packet (8 years and up)

To learn more, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website,
call 815-667-4726 or stop by the Visitor Center located at
2678 N. State Route 178, Oglesby, IL 61348

2019 Calendar of Events

Winter & Spring 2019 Calendar
Summer & Fall 2019 Calendar

April 27, 2019 from 1:30-2:30pm
Ecology of Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers
The onset of spring brings beautiful wildflowers to the woodlands of Illinois and Starved Rock State Park is home to a rich variety of common and rare spring ephemeral wildflowers. These plants deploy an amazing array of strategies to deal with the challenges of living on the forest floor. This talk will cure your winter blues by discussing the myriad of adaptations by these interesting plants.

May 4 and 5, 2019
Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage Weekend
Hikes leave the Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m., both days.  Hike to choose from:  Starved Rock and French Canyon (3/4 mile), Eagle Cliff and Lovers Leap Overlooks (1.4 miles roundtrip), and Wildcat Canyon with overlooks (2 miles roundtrip). Spring is such a beautiful time of year at the Rock!  Waterfalls, mossy canyons, crisp and clean air on the overlooks, and spring wildflowers everywhere you see.  Join experienced naturalists both park staff and volunteers for a one of kind trail experience to find spring ephemerals (wildflowers) and learn about their natural history. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019
National Trails Day Event

Guided Hikes:  9:30am and 1pm. Free event, no registration required.
Meet and greet with Smokey the Bear and Sammy the Starved Rock Eagle

October 19 and 20, 2019
Fall Colors Weekend

Guided hikes:  9:30am, 10am, 11am, and 1pm. Free event, no registration required.

Saturday, October 26, 2019
Halloween Tales and Trails at Starved Rock

Guided hikes to the ghosts of Starved Rock’s past:  5pm and 6pm (PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY)

Sunday, November 10, 2019
SOAR with Live Birds of Prey!

Program from 1:20-2:30pm. Saving Our American Raptors also known as SOAR will lead a presentation with live birds of prey including owls, hawks, falcons, and an eagle. Discover the natural habitats, behavior, and adaptations of these fascinating animals.

Friday, November 15, 2019
Full Moon Night Hike

Guided Hike from 5:30-7pm. PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY. Email [email protected] by November 8th.
The trails at Starved Rock close at dark daily, unless you are attending a guided hike such as this one with the Park Interpreter! Enjoy the 1.5 mile trail to Lovers Leap and Eagle Cliff Overlooks along the boardwalk under the glow of the full moon.

Starved Rock Photography Contest and Show
Entry Forms must be submitted to [email protected] by November 24, 2019. Entries due at the park by December 1, 2019. Judging: December 8, 2019
Showcased in Kaskaskia Room and Visitor Center December 3rd-16th. Photography show for adults 18 years and older that are not professionals in their field (earn more than 25% of their annual income from photography). Criteria: Black and white or color photography of birds, insects, reptiles & amphibians, mammals, landscape, and water as it applies to nature showcased in the State of Illinois at nature preserves, state parks, city parks, and county parks. No manmade structures, vehicles, or people allowed. Size of 8 x 10-11 x 14 on  mat board with hanging mechanism (no frames or prints outside of these dimensions please). Please visit the Starved Rock Foundation website at for further information about the photo contest including the entry registration form.
People Choice Award (judged by the public) and the Starved Rock Award (judged by the Sandwich and Princeton Photography Clubs)

Saturday, December 21, 2019
Winter Solstice Sunrise Hike

Guided Hike from 7-8:30am. PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY. Email [email protected] by December 14th.
Meet at the parking lots to Kaskaskia and Ottawa Canyons along Route 71. Nothing compares to the solitude of a winter hike at dawn.

Starved Rock Foundation

The Starved Rock Foundation is a friends group that supports the state park through educational programs, supplies, exhibit updates, leading hikes, trail walkers, front desk support, bookstore, and other labors of love. It is a volunteer-run organization. The Foundation and the staff at the park work hand-in-hand to provide a positive park experience. Without them, the Visitor’s Center, guided hikes, and programs could not happen. You can be part of this team! Learn more by visiting the Starved Rock Foundation’s website or Facebook page.