At 2,360 acres, Starved Rock State Park might not be very big, but
it's the best park-deprived Northern Illinois has to offer. Starved
Rock boasts unique rock outcroppings over the Illinois River and
lush canyons with seasonal waterfalls. Unfortunately, park personnel
decided to build a lodge in the most scenic area (the bluffs), and
this was followed by extensive parking lots that take up a big portion
of the park. But don't let that deter you from the best trails and
scenery in the area. The trails are the true park experience.
Starved Rock features an enormous 133 site campground, with 100
of the sites available for reservation. Those seeking handicapped
accessible sites will be happy to know there are seven of them,
offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Campers arriving at
Starved Rock Campground can expect electrical outlets, a grill
pit, showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, and a camp store which
sells firewood, ice and various camping equipment. Alcohol is
prohibited in the campground at all times. Starved Rock Campground
used to be quite the party campground for bored Illinois teenagers
starving for solid outdoor experiences.
Our overall view of Starved Rock Campground is positive. The sites
are mostly wooded and pretty, and the amenities are numerous.
The campground is easily one of the best in nether Illinois. It's
a shame that the grounds close during firearm deer season. This
kind of peaceful recreation (camping) should take precedent..
Be aware that the campground uses a gate system, which is open
from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. The campground is open all year,
but closes during firearm deer season.
A red-tailed hawk watches over the campground.
Starved Rock is a great place to see deer, raptors,
and reptiles such as snakes. The area has long been famous for
winter bald eagle watching.
An open portion of the campground
One of the shower and bathroom huts.
Starved Rock campground facts:
Video Tour available: No
Open: All year except for firearm deer season
Sites: 133 plus a youth camp site
Dump Station: Yes
Store: No ( 2 miles to Utica)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $25 per vehicle, $35 on holidays (strange)
Handicapped Accessible: Yes (toilet and seven sites.)
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Elevation: 651 feet
Fishing: Yes ( Illinois river)
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (2 miles to Utica)
Repairs: No 2 miles to Utica)
Reservations: Available 815-667-4726
Stone fountain in the campground
The campground entrance
Northern water snake