2. Explore The Canyons
Starved Rock is best known for it's stunning bird's eye view of the Illinois River, seasonal waterfalls and it's many glacially carved sandstone canyons. No trip to the park would be complete without explore and photographing a few of these unexpected natural wonders. Here are three of the most popular canyons in Starved Rock.
St. Louis Canyon: Just a few minutes to the west of the Visitors Center, off IL-178, you’ll find the parking lot for St. Louis Canyon. At the end of this 0.4-mile hike you’ll be treated to a beautiful box canyon, complete with a tall waterfall and hidden alcove that runs behind it. Even when falls aren’t in season, the canyon’s towering walls of intricate sandstone make for quite the sight.
French Canyon: One of the easiest hikes in the parks, just so happens to lead to one of the most beautiful canyons! Located just 0.4-miles southeast of the Visitors Center, French Canyon offers a towering 45-foot tall waterfall during the rainy season, and beautifully eroded Saint Peters sandstone all year round. After a rainfall, admire the colorful streaks left on the canyon walls by the mineral-rich water.
LaSalle Canyon: Located about a mile from the recently re-opened Parkman’s Plain parking lot, LaSalle Canyon boasts a wide picturesque canyon and jutting sandstone shelf, suspended 20 feet off the ground. Best of all, your hike to canyon will wind you along the Illinois river, providing you with a great view of the river and chance to see some rare birds and foliage.