Cross Country Skiing Returns To Starved Rock Region

Ski rentals available at Matthiessen State Park

Leave your skis and poles at home! Matthiessen State Park offers a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Starved Rock Country, reasonably priced rentals for cross country skiing supplies, right inside the park.

Matthiessen State Park, located just three miles South-West of Starved Rock off Route 178, offers over six miles of beautiful tree-lined cross country skiing trails! Best of all, the park sports a ski rental kiosk that is open select snowy weekends, December through March.

Barring any extreme weather, Matthiessen State Park’s convenient ski rental kiosk, named “Do It To It”, will be open this weekend for all cross country enthusiasts. Cross Country Skis, boots and poles will be available for rent, running you only $15/adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

The Ski Shop will open at 9:00AM Saturday (1/30) and Sunday (1/31). Rentals will end at 3pm and all ski supplies should be returned to the cabin before dark. Please wear a mask when you enter the cabin and practice social distancing during the rental process and on the trails.

The rental cabin is located near the shelter and fort at the Park’s Dells entrance, The rental stand, operated by a third party vendor, is open Saturdays and Sundays when an ample amount of snow is on the ground, keep an eye on our Facebook page to see when they’ll be open in the future.

Ski maps are available at the rental stand and at the Starved Rock Visitors Center.

Matthiessen State Park

2500 IL-178 Oglesby, IL 61348


The Illinois & Michigan Canal Trail is also ideal for skiing in wintertime. When the ground cover allows, this expansive trail offers more than 60 miles of flat cross country friendly trails. Illini State Park in Marseilles also boasts two miles of skiing trails, with Buffalo Park State Park just west of Ottawa, Echo Bluff Park and Recreation Area near Spring Valley, and Goose Lake Prairie State Park near Morris featuring ski trails as well.

For more things to do this weekend, check out our winter activity guide: