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

America’s State Parks First Day of the Year Hike on January 1st
Winter Wilderness Weekend
Eagle Watch Weekend
Earth Day Hike
Wildflower Pilgrimage Weekend
Spring Migratory Bird Hike
National Trails Day Hike on June 2nd
Fall Migratory Bird Hike
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


Starved Rock Foundation

2018 Calendar of Events

Click here to see a PDF version of events

May – October
Falconry with Rich Escutia
Join local falconer Rich Escutia with his pair of Harris Hawks and female Red Tailed Hawk for an up close and personal educational visit with birds of prey, located by the cabin behind the Starved Rock Visitor Center.  1-3 p.m.:  7/28-29,
8/4-5, 8/25-26, 9/8-9, 9/22-23, 10/6-7, and 10/20-21/2018.

September 2
Birds of Prey Live!
Save our American Raptors will be on hand with live birds of prey! See birds of prey such as falcons, owls and hawks up-close and learn about the impressive adaptations and behaviors of these remarkable birds. Program start at 11am and 1pm. 

September 15
Autumn Migratory Bird Hike
Join the park naturalist and local bird expert, Tom Williams, as we hike to seek our resident birds and greet our fall migrators. Bring your binoculars and your favorite bird guide. Hike will leave from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 8am. Hike lasts 2 hours. 

September 23
Buzzing, Beautiful Bees!
The Honeybee: an amazing creature, Merlin and Susan Calhoun will give us a snack peek into these tiny creatures’ amazing lives, including habitat, behavior and the challenges they face in our world. 

October 20 & 21
Fall Colors Weekend
Join the Starved Rock guides as we hike to overlooks and canyons to view the spectacular colors of fall. Learn about the history and geology of Starved Rock. Hikes leave from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 10am.

 October 27
Creatures of the Night
SOAR will be on hand with several species of owls native to Illinois. See these birds up-close and personal. Learn about the impressive creatures’ adaptations and behaviors. Programs will start at 11am and 1pm and last one hour. Live birds!

October 27
Haunted Halloween Night Hikes & Storytelling
Hear “haunted” tales of the park from the “ghosts of Starved Rock’s past” as the “Pink Lady” guides you along the luminary lit trail to the top of Starved Rock.  BY RESERVATION ONLY:  visitors must pre-register for the guided hike by emailing [email protected]  Each hike can take up to 40 participants.  Last day to register is October 26th.  Haunted hikes leave from the Starved Rock Visitor Center at 5 and 6 p.m. Kids crafts from 5-7 p.m. in the Eagle’s Roost Cabin behind the Visitor Center. 

December 30
Holiday Storytelling with Bill Myers
Bill Myers, local Illinois Valley storytelling, will be spinning his holiday tales at the Starved Rock Visitor Center. Storytelling is great for all ages. Storytelling will begin at 1:30pm and last one hour.


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.