STARVED ROCK/MATTHIESSEN STATE PARKS
Mapquest address: 2568 E. 950th Rd, Oglesby, IL 61348
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
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.
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
#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
#11. ARE CASH
Yes. Cash machines are available at Starved Rock in the Lodge and in the
#12. IS THERE
HUNTING IN THE PARK?
Yes. Starved Rock/Matthiessen hunting fact sheets are on the DNR website:
Where can we hike during hunting? Some hiking trails are open during hunting
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
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.