Home Camping Adventures Exploring Starved Rock State Park
Exploring Starved Rock State Park

5 min

September 7, 2023

Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, Illinois, is one of the most beloved destinations in the state. Hidden amongst the fields and farmland, stepping inside of this park is like entering into another world. Whether you’re visiting for the gorgeous waterfalls, the hiking trails, or to take advantage of the recreational opportunities on the Illinois River, you won’t be disappointed in the beauty and exciting attractions at Starved Rock State Park.

Must-See Places in Starved Rock State Park

There are 18 beautiful sandstone canyons located throughout the park that are worth exploring, but if you want to see the spectacular waterfalls in Starved Rock, you’ll want to plan your camping trip during the spring months. The more popular waterfalls can be found in French, Ottawa, Wildcat, St. Louis, and Kaskaskia canyons. If you’re planning a winter adventure, you don’t want to miss out on the incredible icefalls that form in the canyons!


This unique and breathtaking landscape is home to a number of different species of birds and wildlife. Love birding? Waterfowl, woodland warblers, and great white pelicans can all be seen in the area. If you prefer animals with four legs, you may catch a glimpse of beavers, gophers, fox, otter, and deer. American Bald Eagles frequent Starved Rock in the winter months and they can often be seen near the Visitor Center, on Plum Island, and by the Lone Point Shelter.

The wildflower meadows at the park are definitely worth a visit for a pop of color and the amazing views. There are more than 200 different kinds of wildflowers found here in the forests and the meadows. Common flowers include Bloodroot, Yellow Bellwort, Long Bracted Orchid, violets, lilies, Shooting Star, and Wild Geranium.

Adventures and Recreation

12842150 - this picture is taken in kaskaskia canyon in starved rock state park

There are 13 miles of beautiful hiking trails within Starved Rock Park that lead visitors to waterfalls, through forests, and amongst the steep canyons. Trails range from easy to difficult and vary in length so there is a hike to match every ability level. The Illinois River offers opportunities for boating, jet skiing, fishing and scenic cruises, and there are a number of excellent park programs and events throughout the year.

Camping Near Starved Rock State Park


Explore tons of great Illinois campgrounds on Camp Native located near Starved Rock State Park. If you’re looking for amazing amenities and beautiful campsites, check out: Galesburg East Campground, MillPoint RV Park, Crow Valley Campground, or River Road Camping & Marina.

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