Beautiful Starved Rock is Illinois's favorite state park. Hiking through forests along the Illinois River to canyons and waterfalls with eagles soaring overhead. Historic lodge with good eating, huge fireplace, quaint rooms, and cabins, and a terrific Visitor's Center. However, none of these are near the campground. The campground is actually about a 10-15 minute drive outside the main park. It's a nice campground; sites have water and electric; showers and restrooms are adequate and clean. Sites are wooded and some seem crowded together. This is a very popular park; make a reservation or you might not get a site.
This campground is close to great hikes. Beware of raccoons and poison ivy near campsites.
I set up in site 110 for the night at this nicely wooded campground. My site was very private, set back in the trees and very clean. I had large and small trees and underbrush making it impossible to see the site next to me in one direction, and no one occupying the site on the other side. With the car in the drive blocking the road, I had complete privacy. There was a short walk to porta potties and a nice walk to the modern, clean bath house. The site had the usual picnic table and fire pit and plenty of space to put my tent. There were some sites that sat in a meadow that completely lacked privacy, but with tons of space for kids to play. There is a camp store near the entrance to the campground, but I didn’t go in so I’m not sure what it’s stocked with (besides the ice in the cooler outside). Campers who like to imbibe beware: NO alcohol is permitted at this campground. There are some GREAT trails for hiking in the park, but be prepared for lots of stairs on the boardwalks that take you in and out of the canyons/ravines. I didn’t hike up to the actual “Starved Rock”, but you can observe it from the river bank.
The hiking at Starved Rock can be awesome, especially if it has rained recently and the waterfalls are flowing. Camping at Starved Rock, not so awesome. The campground is generally full if the weather is decent, so reservations are frequently required. There are different types of sites from wooded to an open field.None of the sites offer much in terms of privacy. The place has a bit of a run-down feel to it. The campground is not near most of the hiking trails, so you have to drive and park, and it can be crowded. I have been hiking in Starved Rock for years and each year it seems to get busier and more crowded. I highly recommend checking out the trails which can be done in a day, but don't consider it a camping destination.
Nice clean and quiet camp ground. Gets very full but people were respectful. Hiking in the park is great. Has a ton of steps/stairs
Starved Rock is a great place to go hiking. We loved seeing all of the waterfalls and checking out the lodge and restaurant. There were amazing views and plenty of trails to keep us busy.
kayak starved rock getting their landing finished up
We had reserved campsites and were told then and in person, plus noticed many signs on the way to our campsite about the NO ALCOHOL rule in this campground. Imagine our surprise when the huge group of young people across the road from our campsite had a party in full swing, with tiki torches, music, liquor bottles, and even a beer funnel in plain sight. They were even kind enough to offer use of the funnel as we walked past. They partied hard until at least 1:30am, well past the 10pm quiet time. And despite the rule of 2 cars max, there were 5 cars jammed into the driveway & road. Never saw even one DNR truck or ranger drive past. Beautiful park, but apparently there is no staff to enforce any of the rules. The bathrooms in the shower building were nice, however the rest of the campground had to make do with portapotties - most of which were well past emptying time. Some showed evidence of bad aim, another had a diaper stuffed in it, most were filled almost to the rim. If this is the "jewel" of the Illinois park system, they should be ashamed. We will not be back.
campground is located a couple miles from the main lodge, miles of hiking trails, kayak rental available. the sites range from primitive to fill rv.
it’s as close to nature as you can get without actually being in nature