Starved Rock State Park, 3,205 acres of wooded bluffland, is 3 mi. s. off I-80 on SR 178 following signs. The rocky eminence that gives the park its name rises to a height of 125 feet. René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle built Fort St. Louis at this site in 1682; the fort was closed in 1702 after his murder. In 1769 a band of Illinois American Indians took refuge on the summit of the rock, where surrounded by their foes, they died from lack of food and water.
The park has 18 canyons that were formed by meltwaters from glaciers some 15,000 years ago. In early spring and after heavy rainfalls, waterfalls form at the head of each canyon. The spring-fed falls at St. Louis Canyon usually flow all summer.
A visitor center offers displays and videos about the park's cultural and natural history. Thirteen miles of hiking trails lead to the canyons and traverse the park.
Hiking in unmarked areas is not permitted.
Pet friendly (call for restrictions/fees.). Recreational activities are permitted. Camping is permitted. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.