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Advice: HHow to Spend A Few Hours at Starved Rock State Park

Nashua, New...
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Advice: HHow to Spend A Few Hours at Starved Rock State Park

Friday Morning, we have only a couple of hours to kill and I was wondering what was the best bang for your buck trail(s) to check out to see (and if light is right) photograph some killer water falls at Starved Rock State Park. We'll be coming from Ottawa and have probably 2-3 hours or so...

thanks in advance for any recommendations

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112 reviews
1. Re: Advice: HHow to Spend A Few Hours at Starved Rock State Park

With limited time, my suggestion would be to drive south through downtown Ottawa. (I think the main drag is LaSalle Street.) You will cross a bridge over the Illinois River. As soon as you reach the other side of the bridge, you will turn right on Route 71 (there's a traffic light there). Follow Route 71 west about six miles to the second parking lot and take a short walk back to Illinois Canyon. Then either drive west to the third parking lot, or just walk west from the second parking lot to Council Overhang, Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyons. I think this area is pretty, less crowded, and you can see a lot without walking too far.

Another short hike is back to St. Louis Canyon. Drive west on 71 to Route 178, then turn right until you see the parking lot on the right side of the road. I could be wrong, but I thought that there may have been construction at this parking lot and it was closed recently. If you have some time, the hike from the visitor center to St. Louis Canyon is only 3 miles RT and is very scenic. We usually park at the lodge to start this hike, but it's fine to park at the visitor center too.

A lot of people like to go up to the actual Starved Rock, but I prefer the canyons and waterfalls. There are nice views up there. It's a short walk.

Yet another option is to park at the lodge, and make a loop eastward, taking in French, Wildcat, Basswood, Lonetree, Tonty, and LaSalle Canyons. According to the map, this would be about 4 miles RT.

Take a look at this map, and it might make more sense.



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