Sometimes you just need to get away, even if just for a day! Recently we went down to Starved Rock State Park to hike for the day, and it was amazing… and exhausting!
Top 5 Things to Know Before You Go:
- Stay on the Trails! There are a lot of really steep cliffs and unstable rock, you don’t want to become a statistic!
- Be prepared for stairs! With cliffs comes a way to get to the top. It is so worth it but stairs can be really hard with little hikers or older ones. I would leave behind any strollers or rolling bags (yes we saw those!).
- The farther you get from the visitor center the less crowded it is. This is pretty self explanatory, but maybe consider parking at another spot to hike rather then the main lot if you want to be a little quieter. Additionally, when we were there less people headed in the direction of St Louis Canyon, which had less stairs too!
- As with most hiking areas, you must carry out what you carry in. There are no garbage cans past a certain point, so if you packed lunch make sure you bring it back out with you! Don’t litter!
- They close the road at a certain point! On busy days once the lots fill they close the road into the park, so even if people are leaving you won’t e able to drive down to those open parking spots. This isn’t a big deal because you probably plan on going early anyhow, right?
Bonus: Stop over in Ottawa for dinner and a drink! We went to The Lone Buffalo for craft brews and some good food.
My Checklist of things to bring with:
- Wear sneakers or hiking boots (remember stairs)
- Water, especially if it’s going to be warm when you are there
- Lunch! Have a picnic while you are out there!
- Snacks, you are moving a lot and burning a lot of calories. It’s no fun to hike while hangry!
Starved Rock is only 1.5 hours from Chicago so spend a day or make a weekend out of it! There is a lodge as well as individual cabins you can stay in! Get out there and get exploring!
Have you been to Starved Rock? Do you have any other tips I missed?