Don’t let the 90 miles drive from Chicago deter you from this amazing state park. With 18 canyons to view, amazing white water rafting opportunities, and a stunning lodge, it’s easy to see why Starved Rock Sate Park was voted the #1 attraction in Illinois. 

After a 1760 Native American council meeting among three tribes quickly went sour when Chief Kinebo stabbed Chief Pontiac, an intense battle erupted. The third party tribe — the Illinois — refused to take part and remained stranded on their rock refuge, earning the park its name: Starved Rock. 

The land’s history and stunning landscapes have helped to create a must-see area for families, thrill seekers, and even winos.

Ready for a visit? These ideas should help you get started. 

Take a hike (literally)
With 13 miles of available hiking trails, Starved Rock State Park is full of trails that can be used by hikers of any ability level. To ensure you get see some of the best views the park has to offer, opt for one of the guided tours provided by park staff to LaSalle and Tonti Canyons. Don’t worry about the winter weather ruining some of the views either. If anything, they’ll be only be enhanced by the gorgeous icefalls and eagle watching.

Get wet
Opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting are endless thanks to the Illinois River that flows directly through the park. Canoe rentals are available on site between May and October along with three-hour white water rafting adventures tours. For those who wish to stay a bit more high and dry, the Belle of the Rock cruise is definitely worth it.

Wine down
After a busy day of exploring, take some time to unwind. Starved Rock State Park offers dining options at its lodge, but local wineries can also be found nearby. To ensure you don’t miss any wine tastings, check out the Cattails Wine Tasting Room with its special Starved Rock Wines collection.