Arrive Early if Planning a Visit to Starved Rock

Expect temporary closures of the park when parking lots are full

Anyone planning to visit Starved Rock State Park over the holiday weekend should be alert to likely temporary closures at the popular park. Over Memorial Day weekend, more than 93,000 people visited, prompting temporary closures for several hours each day when parking lots reached capacity.

UTICA, IL – Independence Day weekend is expected to be busy at Starved Rock State Park, and anyone planning a visit to the site should arrive early in the day and be alert to likely temporary closures on Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4.

During the Memorial Day weekend in late May, more than 93,000 people visited Starved Rock, and nearly 22,000 people visited nearby Matthiessen State Park during that three-day weekend. Starved Rock State Park was closed temporarily for several hours each of those days when parking lots reached capacity.

For regular updates, social media users should check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Facebook and Twitter feeds during the extended holiday weekend.

IDNR Conservation Police will strictly enforce safety rules at Starved Rock, including :

No possession of alcohol on trails
No entering restricted areas
No hiking off trails
No climbing rock walls and cliffs
No Swimming
No defacing sandstone walls with paint or etchings
No littering
No being on trails after dark

All hikers at Starved Rock State Park should stay on designated trails. St. Peter sandstone in the park can crumble and be slippery when wet.

When Starved Rock parking lots reach capacity, access to the park will be closed temporarily for safety reasons until parking becomes available. Motorists should not park along park roads or public highways as that may prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Vehicles parked illegally will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Starved Rock Lodge guests and lodge restaurant guests with brunch reservations will be allowed to enter the park. Lodge parking will be restricted to lodge patrons with reservations.

For updates, visitors may check for information on park activities and possible temporary closures as they near the park by tuning to the Starved Rock radio station on 1610 AM. For updates via social media, like the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Facebook and follow the IDNR on Twitter @IllinoisDNR.