We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
264 posts
73 reviews
Save Topic
Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

We will be on a road trip in a couple of weeks and would love to do a short hike in Starved Rock to stretch our legs. Can anyone suggest the best trail for this time of year? Somewhere around 2 miles round trip, as we don't have a whole lot of time. Maybe a frozen(ish) waterfall or something?

Thanks!

6 replies to this topic
Chicago's North...
Destination Expert
for Illinois, Chicago
Level Contributor
7,191 posts
282 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

Not sure how frozen the waterfalls will be considering how mild it's been... but a coupla nice hikes are up to starved rock itself, and in nearby mathiessen state park... do the lower canyon hike to the waterfall, then loop up over the top of the waterfall.... the lower canyon can get muddy, but if it's been below freezing, the ground should be pretty solid.

Illinois
Level Contributor
1,771 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

Winter is a good time to spot eagles at Starved Rock. A good place to see them is from the top of the actual Starved Rock.

I really like St. Louis Canyon, which is the canyon at the far western end of the park. You can park at a lot off IL 178 (I think - I haven't parked here for a while), and it's not all that far of a walk. This would be less than ten minutes from I 80. You could also park at the lodge or visitor center and hike to St. Louis Canyon, but that's 3 miles RT.

I also like the canyons at the eastern end of the park - Illinois, Kaskaskia, and Ottawa. You can park at one of the lots on the south side of Route 71 and see a lot without walking too far. These trails aren't as crowded as the trails closer to the lodge. Look at this map to plan your route.

starvedrockstatepark.org/wp-content/uploads/…

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
264 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

Thank you both for the suggestions!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,530 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

Last weekend I went to French Canyon and Wildcat Canyon. Wildcat Canyon looked great.

If you are not an expert and don't have the right gear (maybe https://www.yaktrax.com/product/walk ), I would check with the visitor center first. The trails were in great condition (dry) last weekend, but I hear that is not always the case.

Edited: 06 February 2017, 10:32
Illinois
Level Contributor
1,771 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

I love my Yaks! I never slip on ice anymore.

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
264 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?

Thank you, will check weather conditions before we go. Here in St. Louis, we haven't really had much of anything that resembles winter. At least not yet. I saw some really cook pics of LaSalle canyon too. Am considering that as well.

Reply to: Best Winter Hike in Starved Rock State Park?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted