www.dnr.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

DNR Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 IDNR Home
 IDNR Home (new)
 Agency Offices
 Disabled Outdoors
 Freedom of Information Act
 Get Involved
 Grant Info
 Great Lakes Restoration
 Hunting
 Fishing
 License / Permit / Register
 Kids & Education
 Law Enforcement
 Mandatory Safety Programs
 Lodges / Leasing
 More Links
 Outdoor Recreation
 Parks & Recreation
 Press Releases
 Publications
 State Museums
 World Shooting & Recreational Complex
 DNR A to Z

 DNR
 Illinois
Illinois Gallery Website
Enjoy Illinois

  Frequently Asked Questions  


STARVED ROCK/MATTHIESSEN STATE PARKS
Mapquest address: 2568 E. 950th Rd, Oglesby, IL 61348

#1. WHERE ARE THE WATERFALLS?
They are found in 14 of the 18 canyons in the spring or after a heavy rain. The most scenic waterfalls at Starved Rock are found in St. Louis, French, Wildcat, Tonty, LaSalle, Hennepin, Ottawa, Kaskaskia, and Illinois Canyons. At Matthiessen they are found at Matthiessen Lake falls and Cascade falls.

#2. WHERE CAN WE SEE BALD EAGLES?
Eagles can usually be seen fishing below the Starved Rock Lock and Dam and roosting on Leopold and Plum Islands December through February. The highest concentration of eagles is during the coldest time of year, usually January. When the river freezes eagles have to find open water to search for fish which they find in the turbulent water below the dam. Generally speaking you can see between 5 and 30 eagles at any one time December through February depending on weather conditions. The best place to view the bald eagles is from the top of Starved Rock. Binoculars are loaned out at the Starved Rock Visitor Center by leaving your Driver’s License. The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

#3. WHERE ARE THE ICE FALLS?
Ice falls are found in 14 of the 18 canyons when enough moisture falls during fall and winter for the ice falls to form. The most scenic ice falls at Starved Rock are found in St. Louis, French, Wildcat, Tonty, LaSalle, Hennepin, Ottawa, and Kaskaskia Canyons. At Matthiessen they are found at Matthiessen Lake Falls and Cascade Falls.

#4. IS THERE ICE CLIMBING IN THE PARK?
Ice climbing is allowed at Starved Rock in Ottawa, Wildcat, LaSalle, and Tonty Canyons. Ice climbers must sign in and out at the park office. No equipment rental is available. The park staff decides when there is enough ice to climb.

#5. CAN WE CROSS COUNTRY SKI IN THE PARK?
Yes. When snow permits six miles of rolling, ungroomed trails are available at Matthiessen State Park (one mile south of Starved Rock). Ski trails are open daily. Ski rentals are available on weekends from December through March.

#6. ARE THERE SNOWMOBILE TRAILS IN THE PARK?
No, however, snowmobiling is allowed on the Illinois and Michigan Canal one mile north of Starved Rock when snow conditions permit. DNR link to I&M Canal is: http://dnr.state.il.us.

#7. ARE PETS ALLOWED IN THE PARK?
Yes, they are allowed in the park, on the trails, and in the campground. They must be kept on a leash and you must pick up after them. Pet litter bags are available at the Visitor Center. They are not allowed in any park buildings, including the Lodge.

#8. CAN WE ROCK CLIMB IN THE PARK?
No, due to the fragile nature of the rock, rock climbing and rappelling are strictly prohibited. Rock climbing is allowed in the following state parks: Giant City and Ferne Cliff near Carbondale, Illinois, and Mississippi Palisades near Savanna, Illinois.

#9. ARE THERE ADA/STROLLER ACCESSIBLE TRAILS IN THE PARK?
No. The trails at Starved Rock and Matthiessen are in and out of canyons with many stairways, therefore, they are not accessible. However, there is a one mile sidewalk surrounding the Starved Rock Lodge with an observation deck behind the Lodge. There is a sidewalk along the river by the main parking lot which gives a good view of Starved Rock from its base. The Lodge, the Visitor Center, and the park office are accessible. Visitors can also drive to the Starved Rock Lock and Dam Visitor Center and observe the park from the north.

#10. ARE THERE BICYCLE TRAILS IN THE PARK?
No. Bicycling is not allowed on the trails due to: too much erosion, too many visitors, and too many stairways found throughout the park. It would be too dangerous! The closest place to bicycle is on the Illinois & Michigan Canal one mile north of the park in Utica. This is a 62 mile trail.

#11. ARE CASH MACHINES AVAILABLE?
Yes. Cash machines are available at Starved Rock in the Lodge and in the Visitor Center.

#12. IS THERE HUNTING IN THE PARK?
Yes. Starved Rock/Matthiessen hunting fact sheets are on the DNR website: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/FactSheets/Pages/default.aspx.

Where can we hike during hunting? Some hiking trails are open during hunting seasons.

#13. WHERE CAN WE FISH AND WHAT KIND OF FISH CAN WE CATCH?
Fishing can be done at Starved Rock on the north side of the main riverside parking lot and to the west beyond the boat ramp, and also in the river if you have a boat which can be launched at our free public boat ramp. Walleye, sauger, white bass, buffalo, carp, catfish, and bullheads can be caught throughout the year.

#14. CAN THE TRAILS BE ACCESSED FROM THE STARVED ROCK CAMPGROUND?
No. The only way to access the trails is to drive to the main parking lot near the Visitor Center or to one of the outlying trail parking lots.

#15. CAN I RESERVE CAMP SITES OVER THE PHONE?
No, all reservations are made at http://www.reserveamerica.com

#16. CAN I USE A CREDIT CARD TO MAKE A RESERVATION OR TO PAY FOR CAMPING?
Yes, you can use a credit card to pay for your entire stay when you make a reservation using the Reserve America website

#17. IS THERE CAMPING AT MATTHIESSEN?
No, but the Starved Rock campground is located one mile east of Matthiessen.

#18. DO WE NEED TO MAKE A CAMPING RESERVATION DURING THE WEEK?
Generally, if you come in on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday you may not need a reservation. However, reservations are recommended for any day of the week.

#19. ARE THERE HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE SITES IN THE CAMPGROUND?
Yes. There are seven sites with a concrete pad and a sidewalk leading to the nearest primitive toilet. These sites are available for reservation.

#20. DOES STARVED ROCK RENT TENTS?
No, there is no rental of tents, or any type of camping equipment.

#21. ARE THERE CABINS FOR RENT AT STARVED ROCK OR MATTHIESSEN?
The only cabins for rent are near the Starved Rock Lodge. Contact the Starved Rock Lodge at
(800) 868-7625 or www.starvedrocklodge.com for information regarding cabin rentals as well as other lodging information.

Parks & Recreation

Illinois Dept.of Natural Resources
Office of Land Management
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
E-mail
Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Interpretive Programs
State Park Magazine
Website Map
FAQ's
Visitor Comment Card
Recreation.gov

Copyrightę 2014 Department of Natural Resources
Accessibility    Contact    FAQs    Podcasts    Privacy    Social Networking