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Starved Rock park with kids last week of March

Chicago
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Starved Rock park with kids last week of March

I was wondering If late March/early April is a good time to go since my kids' Spring break starts March 30. Kids are 13 and 10, and my husband would really love the bird watching/nature. Are the bald eagles still around then? I was reading a lot of posts about people seeing them in February. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please help!

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Illinois
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1. Re: Starved Rock park with kids last week of March

I wouldn't let the possibility of seeing eagles be a deal breaker for visiting Starved Rock. We saw a pair when we were there in January, and although it's really cool to see them, the park (and Matthiessen SP down the road) has a lot more to offer. I think seeing eagles is more of a winter occurrence.

As you know, you could have a nice spring day or a cold rainy (or even snowy) day at that time of year. The one thing that spring usually offers is seeing flowing waterfalls. You may even see the beginning of wildflowers starting to emerge, but it may be a bit early.

Would you be doing a day trip? It's not that far. Keep an eye on your kids since there are a lot of drop offs on the trails.

Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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2. Re: Starved Rock park with kids last week of March

good info above and plan for a mud fest. better to go further south to giant city state park near carbondale, or turkey run state park in indiana.... but if you go this route, plan for a few days in the area.....

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3. Re: Starved Rock park with kids last week of March

It would be a good day trip- If the weather stays warm the waterfalls should be flowing in the canyons. Mud may make hiking sloppy- be sure to wear the right shoes. Eagles wll be gone- they stay as long as they need the open water (in front of the dam) and fly off north once the river melts. There are other birds to watch, though. There's a lock and damn across the river from the park that has info on local birds, and the island in front of the lock and damn is a rookery for commorants, I think (might be wrong on that...). The park has a nice visitor center down by the parking lot but it doesn't open very early, so if you're in to early moring hiking (or if your birder is...) get a trail map online. If you're planning an overnight visit you can get a room for one night midweek at Starved Rock lodge, weekends require a 2 night stay. There's an indoor pool. Accomodations are pretty basic. Kids might enjoy staying in a cabin. Be warned, though: when we stayed in a cabin at spring break one year we got woken up all night by barges blowing their horns. Is funny now, but not so much at 2 am!

Edited: 11 March 2015, 14:28
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