Starved Rock State Park, IL
The beautiful Starved Rock State Park, sitting along the south side of the Illinois River in Utica, Illinois, attracts thousands of visitors yearly. From hiking and boating in the summer to ice climbing and cross country skiing in the winter, Starved Rock caters to anyone looking to enjoy the best that nature has to offer.
Starved Rock features 18 canyons, each with its own waterfall. These canyons were formed by glacial meltwater and stream erosion. Sandstone bluffs, sandstone overhangs, and moss covered stone additionally create breathtaking sites across the entire park.
Dense vegetation throughout Starved Rock supports a lavish wildlife and bird population including: woodchucks, moles, vireos, catbirds, wood-ducks, beavers, and muskrats. Additionally, American Eagles can regularly be seen throughout the park, hunting along the river. Other birds which can be spotted throughout the park include indigo buntings, scarlet tangers, nuthatches, and chickadees.
For those seeking to explore the flora of Starved Rock State Park there is an abundance to be found. Black oak, red cedar and white oak, white pine and white cedar grow on the drier, sandy bluff tops; red oaks, hickories, american which hazel, black huckleberry, and bracken fern lie further away form the bluffs; crab apple trees, plumb trees, and Indian grasses lie on the forests edge; and prickly pear cactus, compass plant, and rattlesnake master can be found along the prairie soil.
Other activities enjoyed across the seasons include: hiking, boating/boat rentals, fishing, camping, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and ice climbing. Special events hosted by Starved Rock State Park include: Winter Wilderness Weekend and Eagle Watch Weekend in January, Cross-Country Ski Weekend in February, Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage in May, and the Fall Colors Weekend in October.