The main reason to visit this beautiful area of Illinois is the hiking, it holds some of the best trails in the region and they’re all available for you to explore. Take it as a chance to relax and rejuvenate yourself in an area that’s beautiful and tranquil.
So whatever is stressing you out, or if you’re simply looking for an escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s the perfect place for a weekend trip. Heading here in winter means you might catch a glimpse of an eagle, or check out the exquisite range of wildflowers that pop up in the summer.
Then when you’re fully relaxed and feeling much more like yourself, there’s many activities to try out, from boating and fishing to hunting, and of course, hiking to your hearts’ content.
Camping in Starved Rock State Park
Where can I camp in Starved Rock State Park?
Starved Rock State Park Campground
Wandering near Starved Rock
Starved Rock 2014 by Josh Koonce is licensed under CC BY 2.0
This is the perfect central spot to take in all the recreational activities that the area has to offer, from hiking and camping to fishing and boating. There’s an abundance of nature in the area including oak, cedar and pine trees along with thirteen miles of trails which means you can trek through waterfalls with walls of moss formed by glaciers thousands of years ago.
Starved Rock Cabins
Starved Rock State Park
Autum Trail by Tom Gill is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Another luxury camping option are these beautiful cabins, surely one of the most unique places to stay in the region. The lodges are nestled among the towering pine trees. Taking you back in time with their rustic feel you’ll soon feel right at home in the forest. All the cabins feature all the modern day amenities that you’ll require.
What’s there to do in Starved Rock State Park?
The Scenic Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock Canyon by briandjan607 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Besides from the beautiful landscapes to take full advantage of in this area, there’s plenty of activities for the family to partake in, such as visiting the Illinois waterway which is a very educational and a fun way to learn all about the water systems and the huge dam that’s located here.
Then once you’ve had your fill of water fun, you can head to the August Hill winery to sample some of the brilliant local wines topped off with some of Flutterby’s gourmet popcorn as an evening snack.
Finally, for a touch of relaxing chill-time, head to SaltTreeYoga for an afternoon of swimming and spa – and be sure to check out the magnificent salt cave while you’re there.
Camping in Matthiesson State Park
Where can I camp in Matthiesson State Park?
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort
Exploring near Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort
Matthiesson State Park by Tripp is licensed under CC BY 2.0
The perfect destination for a family getaway surrounded by all the natural wonders of the state park. The relaxing lodges provide a home away from home for visitors meaning that you’ll have the feeling of a holiday along with a homely camping setting.
The accommodations also have access to the indoor water park along with restaurants, shop and lots of activities to get involved in.
Cozy Corners Campground
Near Cozy Corners Campground
Canyon Falls by Tom Gill is licensed under CC BY 2.0
|Tents & Rvs|
Located right at the entrance to the park lies this brilliant camping ground suitable for RVs and tents, plus it’s surrounded by trees so there’s plenty of privacy. There’s a picnic ground on site for your evening meal, along with plenty of firewood and refreshing showers.
Kishauwau’s Zonta Cabin
When nature is calling head to these lovely cabins and not only will you get to enjoy a luxury camping experience but there’s lots to try your hand at around the local area. There are opportunities for hiking, biking and fishing, so there’s even something for grandpa to try out
.I have also been told by the owners that there’s a chance for eagle watching in the winter although there’s no guarantees on sightings! So keep your eyes peeled!
What is there to do in Matthiesson State Park?
Taking a walk in Matthiesson State Park
matthiesson state park (5) by Dave Noel is licensed under CC BY 2.0
A true paradise for any nature lovers, with canyons, streams, a prairie and an abundant forest there’s plenty of ground to cover. There are beautiful rock formations to discover along with the usual array of wildlife and vegetation. It’s a popular destination for family outings as there are trails to explore for all levels of ability.
Buffalo Rock State Park
Where can I camp in Buffalo Rock State Park?
Buffalo Rock State Campground
Near Buffalo Rock
Illinois Canyon by Tom Gill is licensed under CC BY 2.0
These are real back-to-basics campsites, so be sure to bring everything you need along with you. You can walk in or bike but you can’t park there so don’t pack your bag too heavily as you can only take in what you can carry. It’s a great site to enjoy a primitive camping experience and live life in the real outdoors.
The view near Illini Campground
Starved Rock 630 by Michael Kappel is licensed under CC BY 2.0
|Tents & Rvs|
Not far from Buffalo Rock is the delightful Illini campground. Featuring restroom facilities, showers and RV hookups, this is a home from home. With over 100 sites, there’s plenty of space for everyone including families. Nearby, there are plenty of activities including kayaking up the Illinois river or exploring the Illini State Park.
What is there to do in Buffalo Rock?
Buffalo RockbyMatt North is licensed under CC BY 2.0
One of the top landmarks in the area is the outdoor sculpture. It’s small and charming and the five sculptures at the park, called Effigy Mounds, are made by the Native Americans and have been moulded from the local clay in the area, so it’s a perfect opportunity to learn about both the history and the geology of the region.
The sculptures are all animals that are native to the region so gather the kids and see if you can spot them in real life, there’s a Snake, Turtle, Catfish, Frog, and Water Strider – so don’t forget your camera!
There are some brilliant camping opportunities in Starved Rock. Have you got the best tent for your trip? Check out our best 4 person tents.